Photo by Michelle Dunn

Tim Price and Xavier Faer have placed third in the CCI5*-L Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event – the first of the ‘biggies’ of the Northern Hemisphere season.

The Kiwi combo finished on their dressage score of 30.9 penalty points thanks to a super clear round and inside time – despite losing a shoe – over the challenging Derek di Grazia cross country course which saw plenty of faults and problems for many, followed by another clean effort this morning in the showjumping.

“My guy is a bit of a Kinder Surprise,” said Tim, “you never know what you will get until you get out there.” But he felt the 13-year-old had jumped really well, and continued to maintain a good technique throughout. “That helps us out on a day like today. He jumped beautifully. He is a lovely big scopey honest horse and one I really enjoy riding.”

Tim felt the horse would gain plenty from their Kentucky outing and be an exciting one to watch as he became more established at top level.

Their efforts at the CCI5*-L were all the more extraordinary as the horse had spent several months cross tied in a stable after getting a hairline fracture in a front leg after being kicked. It meant a quiet 2018 and he came back into work in October, gradually working up to the Kentucky event. Burghley is likely to be the next big event for Xavier Faer while Tim will be heading out at Badminton later this week.

All 31 combinations who completed the cross country yesterday were passed at the final horse inspection. Oliver Townend (GBR) made history with his back-to-back wins aboard Cooley Master Class – the only Brit to have done so and just the fourth rider to successfully defend the title in the 41-year history of the event. Oliver finished on 25.3 penalty points with Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg second on 27.9.

Joe Meyer, the only other Kiwi in the field, and his 10-year-old New Zealand thoroughbred Johnny Royale finished in 28thspot on 77.2 penalty points after an unfortunate showjumping round. “It’s not quite the finish we wanted but Johnny is officially a five star horse,” said Joe. “He was sore in his shoulder last night and tried hard today but was not himself. We are very proud of him to finish his first five star. He is a young horse and has a great future.”

Tim and Joe were part of the Australia/New Zealand team to finish third in the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge. Great Britain/Switzerland won with a score of 98 penalty points with the United States second on 114.2 and Australia/New Zealand third on 181.5.


The horse details –


Xavier Faer – owned by Trisha Rickards, Nigella Hall and Tim Price

Johnny Royale – owned by Team Johnny Syndicate


WHAT: Land Rover Kentucky CCI5*-L Three-Day Event

WHERE: Lexington Horse Par, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

WHEN: April 25-28, 2019