Tim Price is chuffed to have both his horses inside the top six at the end of the CCI4*-L cross country at the Kronenberg Horse Trials in The Netherland.

He added just time penalties on both horses, and with Falco sits in second spot on 42.4 penalty points, just behind leader Astier Nicolas (FRA) aboard Babylon de Gamma on 37.2. He and Coup de Coeur Dudevin are sixth on 54.3. Caroline Powell and High Time are on 75.6. Not a single combination in the 18-strong field managed to come home clear and inside time, with three eliminated on the course.

“I am really happy with both my horses,” said world no.9 Tim. “We are here to get a qualifier (for Paris) and tick that box for cross country day. The time was really tight so it did put a bit of pressure on being inside the time allowed for the qualifier, which was 75 secs over, but did that and both came home very well.”

The efforts of the team at home played a big part in the results and he said he was very proud of those, who did gallops days in the rain and all the other hard work that had the horses fit and ready to go at events. “For both of them to pull up so well for such an early 4-L in the season is great so I am really happy.”

Clarke Johnstone and Rocket Man have placed seventh in the 71-strong CCI3*-S after 9.6 time penalties on the cross country saw them slip off the podium with a final tally of 38.6. The class was won by Bubby Upton (GBR) aboard It’s Cooley Time, who had tussled with Clarke for the top spot through the dressage and showjumping.

Caroline Powell and Greenacres Special Cavalier were the best of the Kiwis in the CCI4*-S which was won by Tom McEwen (GBR) and JL Dublin who had led from the get-go.

Just one of the 63 combinations who started the cross country overnight came home clear and inside time. Caroline and Greenacres Special Cavalier and CBI Aldo, and James Avery with both MBF Connection Dallas 13 were clear jumping but picked up time. Caroline and Legally Grey had both jump and time faults.

ESNZ head coach Sam Griffiths says the event has highlighted the team are certainly on track for Paris. “We were using this very much to get qualified for the Olympic Games,” he said. “Our goal was not to run down the time especially given it is right at the start of the season. Overall I am really happy. This is a stepping stones towards Paris so our goal is not to win, but rather to tick qualifying boxes for Paris. We are doing that and I feel we are right on target.”


By Diana Dobson
Photos by Pam Cunningham Irish Eventing Times