Jonelle Price and Faerie Dianimo now have a full set of podium results from the CCI5*-L at Luhmuhlen, with a third placing today.
The Kiwi combo are no strangers to success at Luhmuhlen, having won it in 2018 and placed second in 2015. The world no.6 was ecstatic. “She has been a very special little mare for me over her career and it was really nice to come back and put on a good performance across the three phases,” said Jonelle.
It’s been a “funny couple of years” for the 17-year-old, who was Jonelle’s mount at the Rio Olympic Games, with a mishap last year and a hiccup at Burghley the year before. “So it has been a good couple of years since she has had a good result and she doesn’t run that much. It was particularly special for myself and her connections – her owner Trisha (Rickards) and godmother Jacky (Green) – for her to come out and remind us just how special she is and what a courageous and gutsy little competitor she is.”
Jonelle said she couldn’t help but rue the few mistakes in the dressage and wonder what could have been. “But it is what it is and I have to be happy with a podium finish.” The mare was spooked by signage during the dressage and finished on 31.6 penalty points and in 16th place. Their clear and inside time effort on the Mike Etherington-Smith-designed cross country – one of only eight in the field – saw them move up to sixth and they added .4 in the showjumping overnight for a final tally of 32 and their third placing.
Tim Price placed ninth and 10th with his 5* debutants Spartaco and Vitali. Eleven-year-old Spartaco added time in both the cross country and showjumping to finish the event on 40.6 while 12-year-old Vitali had been very handy post the dressage and cross country, but three rails and time saw him finish on 43.5.
“It was pretty disappointing to have the rails on Vitali but that is a work in progress,” said Tim. “He had plenty of beans but he wasn’t so good on concentration. I am very happy with Spartaco with his good clear jumping round, so double clear for him in his first 5*.”
Hollie Swain and Solo, who were also in their first 5* event, finished on 96.5 penalty points but she was very happy to have completed all three phases.
“I am delighted to complete our first 5* and to finish in the top 50% and gain and MER,” said Hollie. “It has been fantastic to have the support of Tim and Jonelle Price, given that it was our first 5*, so all their support and wise words of wisdom and experience really helped.”
She heads home with a happy, sound and healthy horse, with lots to build on. “It was a fabulous competition and we just loved it. I am thrilled too for Solo’s owner John Bodenham.”
The 5* was won by birthday boy Felix Vogg (SUI) aboard Colero who finished on their dressage score of 29 to collect their first victory at top level, with Kirsty Chabert (GBR) and Classic VI second on 31.1. Just 20 combinations finished all three phases, with just two coming home clear and inside time in the showjumping.
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Solo – owned by John Bodenham
Faerie Dianimo – owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Jonelle Price
Spartaco – owned by Tim Price
Vitali – owned by Alexander and Joseph Giannamore and Tim Price
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ