New Zealand’s best are in Italy, adding the finishing touches to their FEI World Eventing Championships campaigns.

World no.3 and no.4 ranked riders Tim and Jonelle Price aboard Falco and McClaren respectively, are joined by fellow Olympian and former World Champs rep Clarke Johnstone with Menlo Park, and debutants Monica Spencer aboard Artist, and Amanda Pottinger on Just Kidding.

Equestrian Sports New Zealand general manager of high performance, Jock Paget says it is now time to move into “execution mode”.

“Our World Champs preparation is now complete,” he says. “The horses and riders all performed well in the pre-departure camp where we had an opportunity to work on every aspect needed. The most important thing right now is that the horses have arrived healthy after such a long journey.”

Ready for business . . . the New Zealand team at the FEI World Eventing Championships in Italy (from left) Jonathan Paget (Chef d’Equipe), Monica Spencer, Clarke Johnstone, Jonelle Price, Tim Price and Amanda Pottinger, Sam Griffiths (HP Eventing Coach). Photo by ESNZ/Libby Law Photography

Much work had gone into ensuring that by the horse health team. “Jacky Green took care of all the logistics of getting our horses here, and on on arrival they were seen by our team vet Christiana Ober. They are being closely monitored to ensure they are in good shape before they start working again in the lead up to the dressage.”

For Tim and Jonelle, who just earlier this month placed third and fourth respectively at the Burghley Horse Trials, are looking forward to the switch in attention to the Championships.
“We go to so many competitions but there is something very different about putting the black shirt on and representing our little country,” says Tim.

Clarke praised the grooms who had a “mammoth trip” with the horses from the UK to Italy. “I am looking forward to getting settled in and the competition underway,” he said.

For Amanda and Monica it is exciting to be donning the silver fern for the first time at top level. “Artist is feeling good, considering all the travel,” says Monica who only arrived in the UK late last month. “I am excited to represent New Zealand alongside an incredibly talented group of riders.”

Amanda says it has been a nerve-wracking last week but now the excitement was kicking in. “I am looking forward to a good week,” she said. “Game on.”

The great team of hard working grooms…..(from left back row), Jade Roberts (McClaren), Marcus Bean (Menlo Park), Charlotte Penny (Artist), (from left front row), Kerryn Edmunds (Falco), Kelli Frewin (Just Kidding). Photo by ESNZ/Libby Law Photography

New Zealand has twice won team gold at World Champs – at Stockholm in 1990 and Rome in 1998. The last time the team was on the podium was 2010 in Kentucky when Andrew Nicholson, Sir Mark Todd, Caroline Powell and Clarke Johnstone won bronze. Andrew and Nereo also won an individual bronze that year.

Individually, golds have been won by Blyth Tait and Messiah in 1990, Vaughn Jefferis and Bounce in 1994, and Blyth and Ready Teddy in 1998, the same year that Sir Mark and Broadcast News won silver. The Kiwi eventers were seventh at the last Worlds in Tryon in 2018.

The championships are being held at Pratoni, near Rome. The first horse inspection is on Wednesday (September 14) with the dressage running the next two days, followed by the Giuseppe Della Chiesa-designed cross country and the Uliano Vezzani-designed showjumping.

New Zealand is one of 27 nations at the championships, with 16 of those vying for team honours and 90 individuals in the individual competition. The best three scores from the team will count towards the final score. Great Britain head into the event as the reigning champs.

TIMETABLENote times subject to change



NZ Time

First Horse Inspection

Wednesday 14th


Dressage Day 1 – Session 1

Thursday 15th


Dressage Day 1 – Session 2

Thursday 15th


Dressage Day 2 – Session 1

Friday 16th


Dressage Day 2 – Session 2

Friday 16th


Cross Country

Saturday 17th


Second Horse Inspection

Sunday 18th



Sunday 18th


Jumping – Top 25

Monday 19th



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