Jonelle Price and McClaren have placed 18th at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington.
The Kiwi combo were ninth after the dressage but slipped down the leaderboard to 25th after an unfortunate 20 penalties plus time in the cross country and added just 1.6 time to their tally to move up seven spots and finish on a score of 68.2.
Michael Jung (GER) and fischerChipmunk FRH, in their first ever 5* event, won on a record-breaking score of 20.1, a country mile ahead of the opposition. The previous best score for a CCI5*-L was 21.3, set by Laura Collett (GBR) aboard London 52 at Pau in 2020.
Both Jonelle and husband Tim, feature in the best 10 CCI5*-L scores, with Jonelle and Faerie Dianimo’s 21.9 penalty point effort at Luhmuhlen in 2015 and Tim twice on the list from Pau. He and Falco from just last year with their 22.5 penalty point finish, and Wesko’s 24.2 point effort in 2020.
Michael, who has now won the event four times, led from the get-go, and added nothing to his dressage score through the remaining tests. Yasmin Ingham (GBR) and her 5* debutant Banzai du Loir were second on 31.7 with Doug Payne (USA) and Quantum Leap third on 38.4.
Just 30 combinations lined up for the showjumping where nine were clear, but just five clear and inside time.
“McClaren jumped a super round today to finish up what was actually a very good week,” said Jonelle. “Obviously the 20 penalties yesterday has marred the final result but in my humble opinion McClaren has produced a personal best across all three phases this week. I am really looking forward to the next chapter with this special little horse.”
Jonelle said it was particularly nice to have his owners David and Karie Thomson at the event. “They are huge supporters of both myself and the team,” she said.
It was a challenging three days for many with four retirements on the Derek di Grazia-designed cross country course and seven eliminations, with a further two combinations eliminated at the second horse inspection.
Joe Meyer had two horses in the CCI4*-S but withdrew Harbin before the cross country and was eliminated aboard Buccaneer. The class was won by Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) aboard Cooley Quicksilver on a score of 29.7.
All eyes now head to the UK for the Badminton Horse Trials where Jonelle is one of a raft of Kiwis lining up later this week at the prestigious event.
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photo by Michelle Dunn