The Kiwis are well in touch with the leaders at the end of the dressage at the FEI World Eventing Championships in Italy.
Monica Spencer and Artist lead the way in seventh equal with their 25.6 penalty point effort with Jonelle Price aboard McClaren in 13th on 26.1, Tim Price with Falco in 14th on 26.2, and Clarke Johnstone on Menlo Park in 23rd on 27.4.
The team is in fourth place on 77.9 with the Brits leading on 69.2, a world record for the Championships, Germany second on 76.1 and the United States in third on 76.6. New Zealand’s individual rider Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding are I 37th on 31.2.
Tim, Jonelle and Amanda were all in action overnight.
Tim said he couldn’t have asked for more, although did feel one of the judges had been a bit “mean”. “He went as good as he can go at the moment,” said Tim. “We are all looking forward to having a blast tomorrow (on the cross country) and bringing home some good clear rounds inside the time.”
Jonelle was also very pleased with McClaren’s efforts. “It has been a work in progress for a couple of years but it is pretty nice to show some marked improvements today. Often felt like we were getting there and then not quite delivering in the ring, so it was really satisfying to produce what I believe to be his best test and certainly the scores reflected that on the big stage that is the worlds.”
Amanda was disappointed with their test, saying the score was “a little bit off” what she was hoping for.
German superstar Michael Jung is leading with a score of 18.8 aboard fischerChipmunk FRH, with Brits Laura Collett and Yasmin Ingham in second and third.
Tonight is the Guiseppe della Chiesa-designed cross country which has given the riders plenty to think about.
“Time is going be the biggest factor”, says Jonelle. “We’ve got such a high-calibre field of horses here and the British team have the best horses in the world. So I think the horses are going to make light work of it but the hills and a lot of congested jumping will make the clock challenging.”
Equiratings statistics show that at the last seven World Championships the eventual winning team was lying either first or second after dressage and that, since 2002, the individual champion has never been outside the top five after the dressage phase. At the last four world championships Team Germany has led the way after dressage and Michael Jung has arrived in Pratoni this week as favourite to take the Individual title.
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Falco – owned by Sue Benson and Tim Price
McClaren – owned by David and Katherine Thomson
Menlo Park – owned by Jean, Rob and Clarke Johnstone
Artist – owned by Monica and Andrew Spencer
Just Kidding – owned by the Pottinger Family
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ