World no.2 Tim Price will be hoping his good form at Luhmuhlen CCI5* continues this week when he heads to Germany with the 2019 winner Ascona M, and his Rio Olympic horse Ringwood Sky Boy to tackle what promises to be another stellar competition.
His wife Jonelle has her own previous Luhmuhlen winner in Faerie Dianimo on the 5* card and both have horses in the CCI4*-S class as well. Joining them is Samantha Lissington with Ricker Ridge Rui in the CCI5*-L and Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ in the CCI4*-S.
“We are looking forward to a good week,” says Tim. “Ascona M is in good form. She has been brought back with this being a focus for a while now . . . long and slow, and I think she is fit and ready to go. She suits Luhmuhlen having won here a couple of years ago so we are coming back to somewhere I can go in feeling very confident with her suitability for this competition.”
He also has the perennial Ringwood Sky Boy with him in the CCI5* class. “Sky Boy comes into Luhmuhlen fit and with very good form. He is just improving as he gets older. He is 18 this year but is in the best physical form of his life. He is experienced and I am really excited to have him here.”
But there is something missing from the team. “It will be strange not having the support of his owner Varenna Allen who passed away at the start of this year . . . she has always been so supportive of everything he has done, so it will definitely be a tribute to Varenna this time round.”
Tim lines up in the CCI4*-S with 10-year-old Italian mare Senza Fine who is having her first crack at this level, as well as 12-year-old Vitali who won the CCI4*-L at Strzegom this year, while Jonelle has McLaren in the class.
Twelve-year-old Ricker Ridge Rui made his 5* debut at Burghley in 2019 while 10-year-old Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ is no stranger to the 4*-S format.
New Zealand has a good record at Luhmuhlen with Tim and Ascona M (2019), Jonelle and Faerie Dianimo (2018), Tim with the newly-retired Wesko (2014) and Andrew Nicholson aboard Mr Cruise Control (2013). Sir Mark Todd won it before it became a 5* event with Charisma (1986) and Blyth Tait aboard Aspiring have also earlier won there (1997).
Both classes run a similar schedule, with the first horse inspection on Wednesday, followed by two days of dressage, the Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR) designed cross country on Saturday and the Marco Behrens (GER) showjumping on Sunday. There is a Euro100,000 prize purse for the 5* and Euro20,000 for the 4* class. Due to COVID, there will be no spectators at the event.
The horse details:
Ringwood Sky Boy – owned by Robert Taylor, Tim Price and the late Varenna Allen
Ascona M – owned by Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster and Peter Vela
Faerie Dianimo – owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Jonelle Price
Senza Fine – owned by Therese Miller and Tim Price
McClaren – owned by David and Katherine Thomson
Vitali – owned by Alexander and Joseph Giannamore and Tim Price
Ricker Ridge Rui – owned by Christine Quigley and Samantha Lissington
Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ – owned by Pip McCarroll and Samantha Lissington
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ