Tim Price summed up the 2022 FEI World Eventing Championships pretty well when he said, “it’s a great day for New Zealand eventing”. How right he was – when the Kiwis stood on the podium at Pratoni to receive their bronze medals, it marked 12 years since the last time the nation had medalled at Worlds. The icing on the cake was for world no.3 Tim to secure an individual bronze as well. It was a repeat of Kentucky 2010 when the team won bronze and Andrew Nicholson secured the individual bronze.

New Zealand take the Team Bronze Medal, and Tim Price takes Individual Bronze Medal, for the 2022 FEI World Championships for Eventing – Pratoni | Roma, Italy. Tim Price; Monica Spencer, Clarke Johnstone, Jonelle Price and ESNZ High Performace General Manager, Jonathan Paget. Sunday 18 September 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Anyone who got up to watch the showjumping on Monday morning will know only too well the roller coaster it was. For a while it looked as though we were going to finish that agonising finger tip off the podium.

Our team riders had done their darndest. Tim and Jonelle Price both put on a masterclass in showjumping. They were two of only 12 combinations to go clear and inside time across a course that proved the undoing of some of the very best.

It put paid to Michael Jung (GER) and fischerChipmunk FSH’s second worlds crown, and slid the Brit team out of the medals, among plenty of other leaderboard jumbles. It came down to the wire and it wasn’t until the final few that New Zealand claimed its places on the podium.

ESNZ general manager of high performance Jock Paget was ecstatic. “You have to fight for every decimal point the whole way through and everyone did just that – whether it was for the medium trot or a turn before a fence . . . they all did it,” said Jock. “We knew we were an outside chance in the morning but that was one of the toughest showjumping courses I have ever seen. It was a good day to fight like hell. I am so proud of them all.”

Tim and his 13-year-old Pau 5* winner Falco were 14th after the dressage, moving to seventh in the cross country, and their stunning clear in the showjumping meant they finished on their 26.2 penalty point dressage score.

NZL-Tim Price rides Falco during the Showjumping. The FEI World Championships for Eventing – Pratoni | Roma, Italy. Sunrday 18 September 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

“It has just been outstanding to creep onto the podium like that,” said Tim. “It is just what we needed. I am super proud of everyone . . . we have all played our part in this.”

Falco had “tried his little heart out” today. “What an amazing little horse he is turning into. It is a great day for New Zealand eventing.” The German-bred horse is by Cardenio 2 out of Witta, who is by Weinberg.

World no.5 Jonelle Price said the results had been “a long time coming”. She and 15-year-old McClaren scored 26.1 in the dressage, added six time in the cross country and nothing in the showjumping to finish in 10th place on 32.1.

The heart-stopping showjumping meant the leaderboard was constantly being juggled. “It was an exciting and thrilling finish,” said Jonelle. “It all came pretty thick and fast and nobody really knew what was going on or how the medals were looking and then out of nowhere we had the bronze. I am just so pleased for New Zealand and the programme, for the riders and all the connections too.”

NZL-Jonelle Price rides McClaren during the Showjumping. The FEI World Championships for Eventing – Pratoni | Roma, Italy. Sunrday 18 September 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Jonelle said she felt the riders had been making some progress but to finally come in and show it had been a huge relief and very satisfying. “I am delighted with McClaren. He really came through for me in the showjumping and jumped his socks off. The track was probably the toughest day three track I have ever seen and it really created an exciting result and brought the true jumpers to the fore.”

She was particularly pleased for McClaren’s owners David and Katherine Thomson who were been huge supporters of New Zealand equestrian. The gelding is by Clarimo, out of Toni 1, who is by Landjunge.

NZL- McClaren’s co-owner David Thomson, thrill with his dressage score. during the second day of dressage. The FEI World Championships for Eventing – Pratoni | Roma. Friday 16 September 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Monica Spencer and her thoroughbred Artist were the trailblazers for the Kiwis and certainly announced themselves to the eventing world with a 25.6 penalty point dressage test and adding just 4.4 time in the cross country. The showjumping didn’t quite go to plan with 12 jumping penalties and .4 time to finish their first-ever World Champs on a score of 42.4 in 21st place.

“What an incredible week,” said Monica, who only landed in the Northern Hemisphere last month. “I feel so lucky to be part of a bronze medal-winning team at my first World Championships. I am very proud of Artist – he has travelled half way around the world and tried his heart out for me.” Eleven-year-old Artist was bred to race by Windsor Park Stud but wasn’t fast enough for the track proper.

NZL-Monica Spencer rides Artist during the Showjumping. The FEI World Championships for Eventing – Pratoni | Roma, Italy. Sunrday 18 September 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Rounding out the team was Clarke Johnstone aboard 12-year-old Menlo Park. The British Sport Horse, who is by Berlin, out of Faerie Queen who is by Rock King, only joined the stable late last year.

Their dressage test drew a 27.4 penalty point score but they were unlucky in the cross country where they picked up 49 penalties between both jump and time. In the showjumping they had a single rail and .8 of a time to end the champs on 81.2.

“It was a pretty chaotic and exciting finish with rails coming down left, right and centre, and the order shuffling, but I am just so, so happy and proud that New Zealand has come out and is on the podium. It has been a long time coming,” said Clarke who was the baby of the team in Kentucky in 2010 when the last World Champs medal was won.

NZL-Clarke Johnstone rides Menlo Park during the Showjumping. The FEI World Championships for Eventing – Pratoni | Roma, Italy. Sunrday 18 September 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

“I am proud of Menlo Park. He jumped extremely well today. When I walked the course I thought it was the hardest showjumping course I have ever seen in eventing. It was tall, wide and long – with 13 jumps and three doubles, it was technical, and the jumps were really impressive as well, so it was a really big test today. I am just really thrilled to have come out with a medal, thanks to my team mates.”

Amanda Pottinger and her 16-year-old thoroughbred Just Kidding – who is by Fusaichi Pegasus, out of Gypsy Princess, who is by Sadler’s Wells – were the individuals for New Zealand.

Amanda was bitterly disappointed with their 31.2 dressage score but came out firing on the cross country to come home clear with just 2.4 time. Unfortunately, they picked up 16 jump and .4 time to finish the champs on 50 in 35th place. “I am very proud of the team riders,” she said. “It was an unbelievably tough showjumping track but they all did an amazing job to bring home the medals.”

NZL-Amanda Pottinger rides Just Kidding during the Showjumping. The FEI World Championships for Eventing – Pratoni | Roma, Italy. Sunrday 18 September 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Individually, Yasmin Ingham (GBR) and Banzai du Loir came from behind to win gold on 23.2, from Julia Krajewski (GER) aboard Amande de B’Neville in second on 26, and Tim in third on 26.2.

Germany triumphed in the teams on 95.2, with the United States in second on 100.3 and New Zealand third on 100.7.


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