New Zealand’s eventers sit in third place after a time pressured Pierre Le Goupil cross country saw a shake up on the FEI Nations Cup CCIO4*-S leaderboard at Le Grand Complet at Haras du Pin in France.
The team slipped a slot to third place on 94.1 penalty points. Germany still lead on 86.3 with France in second on 92.9 and the Brits right on the Kiwis’ heels in fourth, on a score of 94.5.
Tim Price and Falco are the best of the team, in 15th place on a score of 30.2, with Jonelle price and McClaren in 21st on 31.8 and Jesse Campbell aboard Diachello in 22nd. Virginia Thompson and Gladstone are the drop score at this stage.
There were just 16 combinations in the 105-strong field came home clear and inside time including Tim on his individual entry Happy Boy who is 11th on 28.7, Jonelle with both her team horse McClaren and individual entry Grappa Nera who is in 18th on 31.4, and Jesse Campbell with his individual entry Cooley Lafitte.
Kiwis going clear but picking up time were Tim on Falco, Tim on Coup de Coeur Dudevin who are now in eighth on 27.5, Jesse with Diachello, Bruce Haskell on Ex Cavalier’s Law, Hollie Swain and Solo, and Virginia with Gladstone.
Even leader Michael Jung (GER) aboard FischerChipmunk FRH picked up a few time, but still heads the pack on 22.8.
Tim was rapt with all his horses who he described as “classy horses all coming through the ranks very nicely indeed”. “I got faster and faster as the day went on! That aside it was good to bring the horses home healthy and fast enough,” he said. “It is a pretty hotly-contested class where one second costs you three or four places. There are a lot of good horses in that field.”
But the Kiwis are well within striking distance. “We are two rails from first, and one from second, so we have everything to play for. We are looking forward to coming home strong tomorrow.”
Jonelle had plenty of praise for McClaren. “He really gave me a lovely ride,” she said. “There were no nervous moments. It was very straight and genuine. It is very hot here today but he coped well and I galloped well to the finish line.”
In the past, the horse has had the odd “cheeky” moment but Jonelle says she’s confident they have now built a good partnership. “I feel we have made some good progress. He is really looking for his fences, and making the time today was just the icing on the cake. He is such a good jumper, he spends a bit of time in the air so we have had to work at trying to shave off a few seconds here and there. We were obviously able to do that today.”
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Falco – owned by Sue Benson and Tim Price
Gladstone – owned by Elaine Butterworth, Anthony Quirk and Virginia Thompson
McClaren – owned by David and Karie Thomson
Grappa Nera – owned by The Grape Syndicate and Jonelle Price
Happy Boy – owned by Susan Lamb and Therese Miller
Coupe de Coeur Dudevin – owned by Jean-Louis Stauffer
Diachello – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
Cooley Lafitte – owned by Jay Jaffar
Solo – owned by John Bodenham
Ex Cavalier’s Law – owned by Tammy Lake and Bruce Haskell
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ