New Zealand power couple Tim and Jonelle Price came to Concours Complet D’Arville in Belgium having never won an Event Rider Masters Leg and ultimately finished first and second following a dramatic cross country conclusion.
After overnight leaders Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V retired following a runout at the first water complex, Australia’s Chris Burton and Quality Purdey were momentarily named the winners with what he thought was a clear round inside the time.
When the ground jury elected to retroactively give Chris 11 frangible penalties for knocking the front element of the triple bar at fence 11, he ultimately dropped to third place on a final score of 40.7 and boosted Tim to victory.
“I heard the timber go down, and I tried to look back to see it,” Chris said. “I feel bad for the horse because I didn’t feel like she hit it that hard. Obviously we respect the rules, and the MIM clip is a really great system and a great rule for the safety of horses and riders. I’m still lucky enough to be on the podium, and being behind these two is no mean feat.”
Tim and Wesko were ultimately the only pair to jump clear and inside the optimum time on Rüdiger Schwarz’s cross country course, which saw a 53% clear jumping rate. They were also the only pair to finish on their dressage score, rising up from fourth place after the first phase to take the win on a final score of 30.5.
“The good horses make you look good, don’t they? I’ve missed him because of moments like that. He’s just so exceptional. The corner in the first water, I couldn’t quite see the line, but he was on it," Tim said.
"He’s just a fantastic horse. Of course, it’s a partnership, and we’ve been together for a long time, so it was great to showcase that at places like this. It’s nice to tick all the boxes and come home healthy.”
Jonelle Price added 6.8 time penalties with Faerie Dianimo to finish on 39.1 for second place in the mare’s first international run since winning the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L last year. The result is Jonelle’s best podium placing to date and her first time back on the podium since finishing third at Blenheim Palace with Cloud Dancer in 2016.
“I’ve been a bit absent from this podium, so it’s nice to be back, especially with this little mare,” Jonelle said. “She’s quite a busy little mare. She’s a bit of a handful — a very good handful — but she is a feisty little thing. A twisty, turny track shows that a bit more, but she showed all her experience, and it’s just fantastic to have her back at this level.”
Looking to the rest of the leaderboard Great Britain’s Kirsty Johnston and WTTL Opposition Sky Law added 4.4 time penalties on cross country to rise from 10th after show jumping to finish fourth on 43.7, her best ERM result to date.
Italy’s Pietro Sandei and Rubis de Prere added 8.4 cross country time penalties, which boosted them from eighth after show jumping up to finish fifth on 44.7.
Despite missing out on the Arville win, Chris Burton still rose to the top of the ERM Series Rankings with 54 points. Jonelle Price now sits second in the rankings on 46 points, followed by Laura Collett in third on 45 points.
Laura sat fifth after show jumping with Dacapo and was chasing valuable series points when a runout at the Wilberry Wonder Pony Shoulder Brush at fence 7B cost them a shot at a podium placing.
Bill Levett and Shannondale Titan, also chasing a top result after sitting fourth overnight, had a costly mistake when they jumped to the right of the flag at 5C, the SAP Water Corner, where Gemma Tattersall also came to grief.
Click here to view final results, and click here to view the rankings following Leg 3.
The 2017 Event Rider Masters champion proved unsurpassable on the first day of competition at Arville, throwing down the gauntlet with a dressage score of 28.8. But Gemma Tattersall, who is no stranger to the lofty heights of the leaderboard with her Olympic mount and recent Bramham CCI4*-S winner Quicklook V, felt the pressure from the assembled judges. Dr Ernst Topp, Dr Katrin Eichinger-Kniely, and Eric Lieby maintained stringently high standards, with only three competitors dipping below the thirty barrier.
"I don't quite know what else they wanted," laughed Gemma after her test. "She felt better than she had at Bramham, where she scored a 21.6. She was light in the contact and she did beautiful changes."
All would be forgiven, though, when 'Princess Pebbles' - known for her love of a sunny day and a surface - pinged around Wilfried Thiebes' tough showjumping track to hold her lead as we look ahead to tomorrow's cross-country challenge.
"She's such a lovely horse, and it's so lovely to have her back competing at this level - it's really exciting," enthused Gemma, whose great grey mare had suffered an injury at 2017's European Championships. The plucky mare underwent an operation, and was then sidelined with a minor leg injury, returning to international competition at the beginning of this year.
The pair certainly had their work cut out for them this afternoon. Seven of today's competitors jumped clear, but more were scuppered by knocked rails and time penalties, which affected even notoriously speedy competitors like Jonelle Price. Gemma, who managed to jump clear and stay within the allotted time, used her considerable knowledge of her horse to get the job done.
"Sometimes, with her, it's not all about making the time - she spends a lot of time in the air, and if I rush her, she can have a rail," she explains. "I knew I could take a stride out at the double, but then I was going to have to be careful. It was quite well thought out!"
The reigning Event Rider Masters champion - and last year's Arville winner - holds a close second place, and the fastest man in the world will be on a mission to go one better over tomorrow's twisty, tricky track. Australia's Chris Burton rode Quality Purdey to a score of 29.7, which he maintained through the showjumping after delivering the fastest round of the day.
"She was beautiful and relaxed, and I've got so much time for the mare," he said. "I'm very lucky to have the ride on her. It's a good day for us."
New Zealand's Tim Price is on a roll: he's not just the newly-minted World Number One, he's also the sport's most recent five-star winner after he took top honours at Luhmühlen last week. But he'd won that five-star once before, in 2014 - and his ride then was his partner today. Wesko - also back after an injury that put him out of contention for the Rio Olympics - climbed a placing to sit third overnight on his dressage score of 30.5.
"He's a great jumper and I always look forward to that side of things with him," said Tim, who rued two costly mistakes in his dressage test. "They were the same two mistakes I made at Wiesbaden - I messed the trot up last time, and I did here too! Nine times out of ten, he comes really good in that phase. But I was really pleased with him today. I've made the odd mistake with him, but today he jumped his socks off."
Wife Jonelle, also riding a Luhmühlen winner in Faerie Dianimo, sits sixth. She played double duties, jumping a clear round with 1.2 time penalties and then heading to the in-gate to support Tim.
"The horse is beautiful and Tim rode him beautifully," she said. "They've been together a long time, and Wesko wouldn't be out of place as an American show hunter, to be honest."
Seven of the 17 combinations in the field (41%) jumped clear show jumping rounds inside the time allowed of 80 seconds.
Joint series leader Laura Collett inched closer to the podium, jumping a quick clear with Dacapo to move from eighth to fifth place overnight.
Click here for scores following the first two phases.
The Event Rider Masters next heads to Belgium for Leg 3 of the 2019 series at Concours Complet D’Arville, where the action will take place amidst the rolling hills and expansive woodlands of the family estate of Guillaume de Liedekerke. Which horses and riders will take on the challenge of Rüdiger Schwarz's cross country course? We are thrilled to reveal the riders who will compete in Leg 3.
The star-studded crop of riders includes two ERM series champions, six leg winners, four five-star winners and last year's Arville victor in Australia's Chris Burton, who will ride Quality Purdey. Chris, the 2018 ERM series champion, is just 2 points off the top of the series rankings following Leg 2. Great Britain's Laura Collett currently tops the rankings alongside Michael Jung and will look to pick up valuable series points at Arville with Dacapo. With one ERM leg win already this season at Chatsworth, Laura also has strong Arville form, having finished second last year with London 52.
All eyes will be on New Zealand power couple Tim and Jonelle Price, who are bringing two Luhmühlen CCI5*-L winners in Wesko and Faerie Dianimo, respectively. Tim is also in red-hot form coming off the back of a Luhmühlen win with Ascona M, a mare he competed in the ERM previously for 10th at Barbury 2018 and second at Blenheim Palace 2017. Both Tim and Jonelle are still hunting for their first ERM leg win.
Britain brings forward a strong contingent including 2017 ERM series champion Gemma Tattersall, who will ride her Chatsworth 2017 winner Quicklook V. Blenheim 2017 winner Izzy Taylor comes forward with Fonbherna Lancer for the horse's CCI4*-S debut.
Team GB's quest for the Arville podium is further strengthened by Wiesbaden 2017 winners Sarah "Cutty" Cohen and Treason; Jardy 2018 victor Alex Bragg with Alcatraz; and Nicola Wilson and Bulana, who won individual bronze at the 2017 European Championships. Tom Jackson also brings forward an exciting entry in Capels Hollow Drift, who finished second in the 7-year-old World Championships at Le Lion d'Angers last year.
Germany's Dirk Schrade is entered with Bettina Hoy's five-star partner Designer 10. Italy's Vittoria Panizzon will look to secure Italy's first podium finish with her brilliant mare Borough Pennyz. Perennial favourites Bill Levett and Shannondale Titan, who finished third last year at Arville, will return in search of another podium placing for Australia.
Twenty-two combinations representing seven different nations: Who will top the podium for Leg 3? Watch live and for free on www.eventridermasters.tv on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June. The full starting list will be available here.
Following Hugh Thomas’s retirement from the helm at Badminton Horse Trials, long term Assistant Director Jane Tuckwell will now step up to Event Director. She will be supported by Andrew Tucker, who will take up the new full time position of Commercial Director, while the experienced office and box office
team will continue unchanged, as indeed will the Site Management squad. Having worked at Badminton for most of her life, Jane has vast experience and knows all the stakeholders in the Horse Trials very well indeed – especially including the hundreds of volunteers without whom it would be impossible to stage the event. Andrew has been assisting Badminton in a consultancy role for nearly 15 years, principally working with commercial supporters, alongside his work for the Hurlingham Polo Association and the charity Sentebale, among other clients. He of course has also been part of the Horse Trials from a very
young age, with both his parents Mike and Angela riding successfully at the event and then commentating and judging respectively.
The Duke of Beaufort said: “The Duchess and I are very grateful for everything Hugh has done for Badminton in his long tenure and we wish him well in his retirement; we are delighted that Jane will succeed him and we are sure she will be a great success” Hugh Thomas said “I am really excited to be leaving Badminton in such good hands and I have every confidence in the future. I have agreed to remain
available on a consultancy basis as needed at least until after the 2020 Horse Trials”.
Persie Distillery announced as new drink sponsor of Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials
The organisers of Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials are delighted to announce a new partnership with Persie Distillery, in celebration of the international event's 30th anniversary.
Located at the foot of Glenshee in Highland Perthshire, Persie Gin is hand-crafted in small batches in – ironically – a stables-turned-distillery. It is the first dedicated gin distillery to be awarded brown sign status by Visit Scotland and has been publicly recognised as a star-rated destination on the Scottish tourist map.
There are three award-winning aromatic expressions – Zesty Citrus, Herby and Sweet & Nutty – plus a distinctive range of ‘dog gins’ in aid of PADS dog rescue charity: Labrador Gin, Spaniel Gin and Dachshund Gin Liqueur. For every bottle sold, £1 is donated to PADS to help rescue and rehome unwanted dogs.
Simon Fairclough, distiller and managing director, explains: “Signing up to become the official drinks sponsor for Blair Horse Trials is a perfect fit for us. It is local, committed to animal welfare, and has a strong focus on charitable giving. That’s what drives our team at Persie Distillery and we are proud to be a partner.”
The 30th anniversary Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials takes place from 22nd to 25th August and will feature four international eventing classes, plus the Scottish Grassroots Eventing Festival finals.
Nicky Townshend, the event’s Assistant Director said, “We are thrilled that Persie Distillery has agreed to become the official drinks sponsor of the event. Persie’s gins are already a firm favourite in the castle shop, so we are delighted that horse trials visitors will have the chance to enjoy them too.
"We are particularly looking forward to the charity gin tasting evening on the Friday evening of the horse trials. It’s the ideal opportunity to find your perfect snifter and raise money for Riding for the Disabled, our 2019 charity.”
A STELLAR cast heads to this year’s Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show
for what looks set to be a Cazenove Capital Eventing Grand Prix to remember! Olympic rider Gemma Tattersall is just one of many eventing stars to head to Cheshire and is joined by leading Brits, Jeanette Brakewell, Louise Harwood, Ginny Howe, Andrew Downes, Paul Sims and Jay Halim.
The top-class line up also includes Alex Hua Tian who won a Silver Medal for China at the 2014 Asian Games and is the youngest event rider ever to compete at an Olympics as well as being China’s first equestrian Olympian in history.
Well known Irish Olympic event rider Joe Murphy is joined by Australian Olympian, Bill Levett and Carlos Parro who represented Brazil at the Olympics in Sydney. Ruy Foncesca, also from Brazil, and a competitor at two Olympic Games in London and Rio, and Australian, Chris Burton, a former Burghley Horse Trials winner provide a truly international field.
This exciting, fast paced action takes place on Thursday, June 13, and will see 20 leading event riders tackle a course of show jumps and feature cross-country fences, against the clock in the International Arena.
Said Show Promoter, Nina Barbour: “We are delighted to have so many of the world’s leading event riders coming to take part in the Cazenove Capital Eventing Grand Prix. It looks set to be a fantastic and thrilling competition on the Thursday evening.”
With Captain Mark Phillips set to build at what is now a three-leg Eventing Grand Prix series, the competition looks set to be of the highest calibre. As part of a new innovation, the top five placed riders in the class will qualify to compete in the Final Leg at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show in December.
A second qualifying leg will run at the Bolesworth Young Horse Championship Show, August 14 to 18. With a £2,000 first prize the leading event riders will be fighting it out for the lion’s
share of the spoils. The competition is a must see whether watching from ringside or up close to the action in the unique setting provided by the very special Hospitality Marquee – a real experience to enjoy with friends and family.
Spectators will see show jumps standing at a maximum of 1.25m, with three seconds
added for each fence knocked down.
Nunney International Horse Trials, on June 14, 15 and 16, offer the perfect opportunity to watch top equestrian sports people in action while at the same time discovering the picturesque countryside of south Somerset.
The event, which is sponsored by Duo Group Holdings Ltd, takes place at Southfield House, Whatley, near Frome, and with an array of tradestands and local food stalls, visitors can indulge in a spot of retail therapy whilst mingling with competitors.
Some famous riders will be in action with past competitors including William Fox-Pitt, Andrew Nicholson, Sir Mark Todd and Sam Griffiths and future stars of the sport of eventing are sure to be seen too. Kitty’s King’s Vendredi Biats who won a novice class in 2015 and contested this yeas Badminton Horse Trials and Padraig McCarthy’s ride Mr Chunky, ran in the intermediate in 2017 and won individual silver at the World Equestrian Games in 2018 and is another Badminton contender.
The main showjumping arena is surrounded with seating and tradestands and the all-important score tent, making it the social hub of the event, while across the roads, acres of countryside are open for spectators to roam as the catch the action of the exhilarating cross country.
Organiser Bridget Parker said: “Nunney is a wonderful event that is now in its eighth year. We have a fantastic committee who all work hard together to ensure it runs smoothly, and we are extremely fortunate to be able to run at the home of Mrs Angela Yeoman. This year we’ve made some considerable changes to the cross country courses which will give a really fresh feel and we hope that people come along and enjoy a few hours in the countryside watching great sporting action.”
Entry to the event is free on Friday and £12 per car on Saturday and Sunday. More information can be found at www.nunneyhorsetrials.co.uk
FarmAbility is SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials’ chosen charity for 2019. FarmAbility co-farmers are people with learning disabilities and autism who contribute to farms and growing spaces across Oxfordshire. While learning practical skills in animal care, vegetable growing, woodworking and other farm-based activities, co-farmers demonstrate that disability shouldn’t prevent you from doing things you enjoy, belonging to a friendly and productive team or becoming a thriving, active member of society.
In the build-up to SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials, which takes place from 19-22 September, co-farmers from FarmAbility will be assisting the events team in preparing fences and arenas, and helping with other practical tasks.
FarmAbility’s Director, Sarah Giles, said: “Co-farmers face a number of challenges in their
lives: at FarmAbility we tackle the barriers they face to having a regular, meaningful occupation with all the benefit to physical health, mental well-being and social connectivity that this brings. FarmAbility offers outdoor activities inspired by the rich combination of nature, animals, fresh air and physical exercise to engage people with differing abilities and needs.
“We’re lucky to have three beautiful horses - Dahrish, Monty and Marlene. While they won’t win prizes for show jumping or dressage, our horses have a gold medal in helping co-farmers to reduce anxiety levels, build confidence and skills, and contribute in a meaningful way to the welfare of our horses.” She added: “Being involved in this way with such a prestigious event is a brilliant opportunity for all of us at FarmAbility, and we’re looking forward to meeting event goers and to being part of the excitement in September.”
To to learn more about FarmAbility, please visit www.farmability.org.uk or check out the charity on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Everyone who books a ticket to SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials (www.blenheimhorse.co.uk) has the option to make a donation to help raise funds for FarmAbility, which the event will match.
As well as the feature CCI4* classes and a host of competitions for amateur riders,
SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials features excellent, carefully selected, shopping
opportunities. There is a full and varied programme in the Attractions Arena on Saturday and
Sunday, superb children’s entertainment and great food, ranging from outlets offering locally
produced to a range of dining packages.
Photo credit: Adam Fanthorpe and FarmAbility
Entries are open for this year's Barbury International Horse Trials, which runs from 4th - 7th July. More than 1,000 horse and rider combinations will be competing over the four days, including many of the biggest names in the sport - from five star winners and Olympic medallists to stunning young horses in the early stages of their competitive careers.
Established back in 2005, Barbury Horse Trials has become one of the country's premier eventing competitions, attracting riders from across the globe. Last year's winners included long time British team member Nicola Wilson, French favourite Thomas Carlile, Australian Burghley winner Christopher Burton and this year's Badminton champion and World Games team gold medallist Piggy French.
Barbury Horse Trials is the perfect place to get close to these top athletes while soaking up the atmosphere at one of the most spectacular venues on the eventing circuit – almost all of the challenging cross country course can be viewed from one position, as the fences weave their way around the open Downland bowl - what better reason could there be to pack a picnic and settle down for the day with friends and family.
It's not all about eventing, however. On the Saturday (6th July) spectators can enjoy the hugely popular and entertaining Champions Challenge, where top event riders battle it out against some of the country's best National Hunt jockeys in a relay race over fences. The Inter-Hunt relay is equally competitive and adrenaline fuelled.
Entertaining the crowds on the Sunday (7th July) will be the world-famous Shetland Grand National, which made its debut to much acclaim at Barbury last year. There will also be a dog agility display, and 'have-a-go' dog agility where visitors can put their own four legged friends through their paces, as well as Arena Eventing and Pony Club showjumping.
A real family day out, Barbury International also hosts a Kids Zone, offering plenty to keep the children happy. As ever, there will be excellent shopping opportunities, with tradestands selling everything from country accessories to clothing, hand crafted jewellery and original artworks.
A fully licensed bar should keep spectators refreshed, while a wide range of delicious food outlets guarantees something to appeal to all palates.
Alternatively, why not treat yourself to a three course buffet style lunch in the ringside Hospitality marquee? Hospitality tickets also include admission to the event and forward parking, morning coffee, afternoon tea, a complimentary bar, event programme and access to the Tri-Star Cross Country Pavillion.
Entry to the event on Thursday 4th is free of charge. To buy tickets for Friday through to Sunday, and for more information, visit: www.barburyhorsetrials.co.uk
To find out more about Event Organiser, Musketeer Event Management, visit: www.musketeer.co.uk
It was a win for Ireland’s Cathal Daniels in the British Horse Feeds CCI4*-L, a well deserved and faultless performance led him to finish on his dressage score of 33.7 with the chestnut mare Rioghan Rua, owned and bred by Frank and Margaret Kinsella. Securing a clear round in the show jumping led to a nail biting finish, as the top two dropped a pole each, Cathal (22) went up the ranks to top the leaderboard.
Speaking of his winning round; “She felt great. Fortunately neither of us feel the pressure and she felt really confident. She can be opinionated but we had her relaxed today. It’s a big atmosphere here but she felt fresh and sharp. Sure we had a few breath holding moments in the round but in the end she jumped clean and careful.”
Having contested the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina last year where he won a team silver medal, Cathal has high hopes for the partnership’s upcoming future at Senior team level “We’ll aim her for the European Championships this year and then keep her bubble wrapped for Tokyo!”
Runner-up and finishing best of the Brits to become National U25 champion, was Yasmin Ingham with Sandman 7, previously a ride of Pippa Funnell. They had an unfortunate four faults in the show jumping to complete on a score of 34.1.
“I was delighted with him, the fence was a rider error, I couldn’t fault his performance he jumped out of his skin and he really lifted to the atmosphere out there. It’s crazy when you come up the shoot into the big open arena with all eyes on you, there is so much pressure. I really wanted to get that clear round it just wasn’t meant to be, but I’m delighted to come second and be the new U25 National Champion.”
Yasmin has had a glittering eventing career so far, having claimed the U16, U18 and U21 national titles previously, today completes the set. She is based in Nantwich, Cheshire at the yard of Sandman’s owners, Sue Davis and Janette Chinn, where Sandman is adored by all. “We call him Precious because he’s such a ponce, everything has got to be about Sandman, you can’t go past his stable without giving him a kiss!” There’ll be kisses a plenty after today’s success!
Finishing third, having also rolled a pole in the final phase, was Will Rawlin and his own V.I.P Vinnie, they finish their Bramham debut on a score of 36.9.
For full results – head to www.bdwp.co.uk/bra