Tim Price and his 5* debutant Vitali have rocked into third spot at the end of the dressage in the CCI5*-L at Luhmuhlen.
The Tokyo Olympic Games combination scored a solid 27.1 penalty points to sit just behind leader Bubby Upton (GBR) and Canavaro who have held on to the top spot from day one with their 24.9 score, with Lauren Nicholson (USA) and Vermiculus in second on 26.7. Tim is in 13th spot on Spartaco, who bagged a 31.4 score on the first day of dressage, with Jonelle aboard Faerie Dianimo right behind him on 31.6. Hollie Swain and Solo sit on 44.9 in the 36-strong field.
“I was very pleased,” said Tim. “I think Vitali is a good horse in the making. He is very fresh but ready for the job, and it has been not quite 12 months but a long time since Tokyo which was his last big atmospheric event.”
The horse had felt as though he was expecting more atmosphere which meant he wasn’t entirely with Tim throughout the test. “But for him to have a little lack of focus and still score 27.1 makes me very pleased. He is super talented in the dressage and whilst it could have been better, I am very pleased to be in the hunt with that score.”
Jonelle felt her test with Faerie Dianimo was “a little frustrating”. “She is so capable in this phase but not the simplest of creatures,” said Jonelle. “She did some beautiful work today but bizarrely spooked at some signage on the inside of the dressage boards and we had three spooks, so that was just silly, costly deduction of marks.”
Faerie Dianimo had also been a little tense in the canter a couple of times. “But she did some lovely work and is so capable of scoring the higher marks when the work is good, so handy enough. I would have liked to have been a little handier but we are certainly not off the pace. If we can finish on that I am sure we will be happy enough.”
Hollie was happy with Solo and feels he is coming along nicely. Front of mind in their first 5* is the mileage. Solo isn’t an easy ride but was so talented. Tim and Jonelle had been hugely supportive of the combination.], with Tim praising her efforts today. “She did a great job to get into the ring and keep the horse concentrating and focused,” he said. “She is here for the three phases and to gain some mileage and to take advantage of having a horse that is ready to go at this level.”
The Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR) cross country is tonight’s task. Tim says it is looking good and he feels it will suit his two mounts. “They are new to this level so I just want to bring them home very happy and healthy, and trip them around in a good rhythm.”
It was an early cross country for his team, with Spartaco third out. “It is a nice thing for the horses but it is an early start for us and not a lot of time to go and have another look at the course . . . but I am looking forward to it and hoping for a good day for the Kiwis.”
The course called for plenty of stamina, concentration and focused riding.
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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