The Kiwi eventers have missed out on the podium at CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S teams’ event by the slimmest of margins but there was plenty to love about the performances of debutants Maddison Crowe and Tayla Mason.
The team – Tim and Jonelle Price, Jesse Campbell and Maddison – finished fourth, just 2.3 penalty points off the podium. Team Great Britain continued their storming form taking the win with 116.2 penalty points with the United States in second on 116.5, Ireland third on 127.2 and New Zealand fourth on 129.5.
The team had been second after the dressage test and third after the showjumping.
Individually, Tim Price and Falco were the best of the Kiwis in sixth place on 37.4 with Maddison and Waitangi Pinterest 11th on 40.5, Tayla Mason aboard Centennial 15th on 43.1, Jesse and Amsterdam 21 22nd on 51.6 and Jonelle aboard McClaren 34th on 74.2 after a refusal at a combination early in the course.
Tim was rapt with Falco, albeit a little disappointed to miss the podium. “He is still getting established at this level. He has been doing a lot of right things for a short time now and I am really pleased because this was his biggest test to date – there were so many skinnies and angles and they were things he has taken a while to learn but now that he has learnt it he has done nothing but the right thing, so I am really pleased that was on show today. I went as fast as I could but the time was exceedingly tight as you can see.”
He was also very proud of the efforts of Maddison and Tayla. “Me and a couple of these young Kiwis were pretty close (to the time). I think it (Aachen) was more about blooding these young riders – they did that fantastically well and it is really exciting to have them involved with us here. They have embraced the whole opportunity and it has been really good for the future of these guys and the Kiwi team evolving over time.”
ESNZ high performance eventing manager Graeme Thom said while the team result wasn’t what they wanted but the highlight of the day had surely been the efforts of Tayla and Maddison.
“We were only a couple points off a medal. The day came down to time faults, but the shining moment of the day for sure was both Tayla and Maddy as first-timers at Aachen doing a fantastic job and really rising to the occasion in all three phases, so can’t fault that,” he said. “I am very happy for that.”
None of the 37 competitors came home clear and inside time. Thirty-two combinations were clear with eventual individual winner William Coleman (USA) aboard Off the Record the slickest with his 0.8 time penalties. William upset the Brit domination on the podium, with Laura Collett (GBR) with her horses Dacapo and Mr Bass, and Emilie Chandler (GBR) aboard Gortfadda Diamond having to settle for second, third and fourth.
Tim, Jesse, Maddison and Tayla were all clear jumping, but picked up time penalties – Tim aboard Falco and Tayla aboard Centennial had 4.4 apiece, Maddison and Waitangi Pinterest had 5.6, and Jesse and Amsterdam had 10.
Maddison was over the moon. “She is incredible,” she said of her 13-year-old mare. “I am just so proud of how she has been all week. She dug really deep. It was a really overwhelming event for her but when she needed to focus she was always with me. I just love her.”
It was a similar sentiment from Tayla with her 10-year-old gelding. “Centennial came out really well and answered all the questions. For a young horse, he handled the atmosphere really well. The time was very tight – I was up and down on the clock the whole way round,” she said. “I ended up with a few time faults but I was still really impressed with how he travelled and it has been a really good experience for him to get another cross country course like this under his belt.”
She had been a little unsure how the horse would react in the main arena for the showjumping test but he had taken it all in his stride. “He was very sensible out there. The atmosphere got to him for one or two seconds but once he jumped fence one he was focussed and I couldn’t fault him.”
THE HORSE DETAILS:
McClaren – owned by David and Katherine Thomson
Falco – owned by Sue Benson, Jackie Olivier and Tim Price
Amsterdam 21 – owned by Craig Campbell
Waitangi Pinterest – owned by the Crowe Family
Centennial – owned by Sonya Mason, Sue Rutter, Kyle Mason and Tayla Mason
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ
19th September 2021