The Millstreet International Horse Trials delivered for the Kiwis with podium finishes for Jonelle Price, Tim Price and Samantha Lissington, and plenty of solid performances from the rest of the crew. World no.6 Tim Price and Coup de Coeur Dudevin (31.7 penalty points) finished second in the CCI4*-L, with Clarke Johnston and Menlo Park (33.1) fourth, Tim and Happy Boy (34.2) sixth, Clarke with Aces High (29.8) 10th and Clarke on Leopard’s Action (44.1) 12th.
Tim was very happy with his 4* horses. “They are both proper 4* horse now,” he said. “Couldn’t be more pleased. They are both classy horses and jumped double clear. It was a tough showjumping track and yesterday was tough too with the cross country with a lot of questions. It was a beautiful course though.”
Tim and Coup de Doeur Dudevin finished on their 31.7 penalty point dressage score, as did Clarke with Menlo Park with their 33.1 effort. He was thrilled with the efforts of the horse in his first 4*-L, which was won by Laura Collett (GBR) and Dacapo on 26.7.
“I would have hoped to have done a slightly better dressage with him but it just didn’t quite come together on the day but it was just awesome to jump clear and inside the time in the cross country and to then come out today and jump a fantastic clear round in the showjumping,” said Clarke.
Aces High, who has been out with injury, slipped off the podium with fences down in the showjumping. “It was a bit disappointing Aces had three down but he was just tired,” said Clarke. “I knew that he wasn’t fully fit going into the competition. We have been on a bit of a tight schedule with him having been off with injury and to get back to full fitness. This show came probably a month too early.
He had leaned on the guidance of (vet) Christiana (Ober) guidance, deciding it was better to aim for this show than another in a few weeks’ time which would call for more travelling on an already big year for the horse.
It was Clarke’s first 4* with Leopard’s Action and he was left ruing an “unlucky” pin on the cross country that prevented them finishing on their dressage score. “It was a shame but he came out today and jumped a very good clear round which is exciting for the future. So on the whole a very good show and three 4*-L qualifying scores towards the World Championships which is great.”
Also in the 4*-L field were Virginia Thompson and Gladstone who finished on 58 penalty points having added just time faults from both jumping tests, Samantha Lissington aboard Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ who ended the day on 86, and Virginia with Capitaine de Hus Z with 87.
Samantha and Bing Bong finished in second place in the CCI3*-L on 28.9 penalty points, just behind winner Laura Collett (GBR) and Outback who finished the competition on 28.2. Samantha and Bing Bong added just 0.4 time from the showjumping to their dressage score for their final tally.
“I am really stoked about today,” said Samantha. “The horses jumped great! The 3* ponies were really good. I was really pleased with Bing Bong and Ricker Ridge Ricochet because it was my first 3*-L with them and my first three day with Bing Bong too, so it was really good to get the best out of them. I thought they jumped really well.”
Samantha was also fifth with Ricker Ridge Ricochet on a score of 30.7, with time penalties coming in both jumping tests. Tim Price and Gurtera Jimmy Clover finished in 11th place on 41.4 with Amanda Goldsbury and Fernhill Inspector finishing on 71, Samantha and Senor Crocodillo on 75.6, and Clarke aboard Domasco on 79.9.
Samantha had plenty of praise for the event, and particularly for the ground conditions and the effort that had gone into the cross country. “The horses really felt the benefit of that today because they all trotted up really well and felt fantastic.”
It was victory for world no.5 Jonelle Price and Fernhill Kankan in the CCI2*-L. “It was nice to have a win on a young horse,” said Jonelle. “She just really came for the experience, setting her up for Le Lion at the end of the year. I certainly didn’t expect to win but it was nice she came and put in three really good phases and showed her quality. She is a nice seven-year-old – I am not quite sure where her future looks to be going but whatever it is she is going to win some classes and certainly be a really handy mare along the way. It was a fun week with her.” The combination finished on their dressage score of 31 penalty points.
Virginia Thompson and Katchafire, who had led after the dressage, ended up in 12th place after picking up time penalties in both jumping phases for a final score of 38.6, while Tim Rusbridge and Ballygriffin Cyril ended the competition 55.8.
Jonelle and Faerie Dianimo placed seventh in the CCI4*-S with a score of 49.9, having added time penalties in both jumping phases. “She was having a pre Luhmuhlen warm-up and ticked all the boxes. While she was a bit hot in the dressage she jumped two really good phases and will now head to Luhmuhlen in a fortnight’s time.”
The class was won by Kirsty Chabert (GBR) on Classic VI on a score of 40.8.
“The whole Kiwi contingent have been great,” said Tim. “We have all worked really well together. It is great to have Clarke over here, and everyone else – Sam, Ginny and Amanda too. All did well.” They were all chuffed Ireland didn’t deliver on its rainy reputation, and the ground had been so good.
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Happy Boy – owned by Susan Lamb and Therese Miller
Coup de Coeur Dudevin – owned by Jean-Louis Stauffer
Killbunny Andy – owned by Therese Miller and Constance Edmundson
Aces High – owned by Jean, Rob and Clarke Johnstone
Menlo Park – owned by Jean, Rob and Clarke Johnstone
Leopard’s Action – owned by Jean, Rob and Clarke Johnstone
Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ – owned by Pip McCarroll and Samantha Lissington
Capitaine De Hus Z – owned by David and Karie Thomson and Virginia Thompson
Gladstone – owned by Elaine Butterworth, Anthony Quirk and Virginia Thompson
Faerie Dianimo – owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Jonelle Price
Ricker Ridge Ricochet – owned by Samantha Lissington
Senor Crocodillo – owned by Alexander and Joseph Giannamore
Bing Bong – owned by Alexander and Joseph Giannamore
Gurtera Jimmy Clover – owned by Michael McGrath
Domasco – owned by Clarke Johnstone
Fernhill Inspector – owned by Nicola Roden
Inception – owned by Tim Rusbridge
Polystar I – owned by Trisha Rickards
Katchafire – owned by Phillippa Levy, Ross Milne and Virginia Thompson
Full Monty de Lacense – owned by Jackie Oliver, Kate Holmes and Jo Pidduck
Fernhill Kankan – owned by Therese Miller and Julia Lukas
Ballygriffin Cyril – owned by Mark & Cassie Whitney and Tim Rusbridge
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ