New Zealand takes Team Gold in the Nations Cup during the DHL-Preis CICO3* Eventing Prizegiving. Graeme Thom (ESNZ HP Eventing Team Manager); Blyth Tait (Havanna); Sir Mark Todd (Kiltubrid Rhapsody); Clarke Johnstone (Balmoral Sensation); Tim Pice (Cekatinka). 2018 GER-Weltfest des Pferdesports CHIO Aachen. Saturday 21 July. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

New Zealand’s eventers head to the prestigious CHIO Aachen this month chasing back-to-back wins in the Nations’ Cup.

Their victory in 2018 was just the second time hosts Germany have been beaten in the competition. World no.1 Tim Price is the only rider named for the 2019 event who was also part of the gold medal-winning team last year. He will compete aboard his 16-year-old gelding Wesko who won his last start in the CCI4*-S at Arville and has an enviable record at CCI5*-L level including victory at Luhmuhlen (2014), second at the Kentucky (2015) and third at Pau the same year.

Double Olympian Tim has been in searing form this season, having won his third CCI5*-L crown in June. He is no stranger to Aachen, having competed there five times already. He is joined by his wife Jonelle Price aboard her little star Faerie Dianimo. The 14-year-old grey mare placed second behind Tim and Wesko at Arville and also has a CCI5*-L title to her name.

Jesse Campbell has been named aboard Cleveland, his 12-year-old bay gelding who finished top 20 at Badminton this year, with James Avery and 11-year-old Mr Sneezy also on the team. Both Jesse and James are on debut at Aachen. Dan Jocelyn and 10-year-old Blackthorn Cruise round out the five, four of whom will ride as the team, and the fifth as an individual. The starting team will be named at the event.

ESNZ eventing high performance manager Graeme Thom is confident the “very strong team of horses and riders” will put the pressure on the other nations. “We are looking forward to defending our gold medal at this year’s Aachen Nation’s Cup,” he says. “Aachen is a fantastically equipped and well run show, with very warm hospitality that presents a perfect competitive environment.”

Aachen is recognised the world over as one of the very best venues. The CHIO Aachen is the official equestrian show of Germany and plays host to Nations’ Cups competition across the five disciplines – eventing, jumping, dressage, driving and vaulting. Each year the event attracts around 350,000 spectators over the 10-days of competition.

The eventing runs July 18-20, starting with the horse inspection on the Thursday followed by the dressage and showjumping, designed by Frank Rothenberger, on Friday and Rüdiger Schwarz-designed cross country on Saturday. There is 50,000 Euro on offer in the Nations’ Cup competition with a 125,000 Euro prize purse in the individual. All the team riders also compete as individuals.

Graeme Thom extended thanks to the owners, High Performance Sport New Zealand and ESNZ sponsors who continued to make such team trips possible.

The team:
James Avery & Mr Sneezy – owned by Tiny Clapham, and Ian and Heidi Woodhead
Jesse Campbell & Cleveland – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
Dan Jocelyn & Blackthorn Cruise – owned by Panda Christie and Dan Jocelyn
Jonelle Price & Faerie Dianimo – owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Jonelle Price
Tim Price & Wesko – owned by the Windrush Equestrian Foundation

WHAT: World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen – CCIO4*-S
WHEN: July 12-21 – eventing July 18-20, 2019
WHERE: Aachen, Germany

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photo by Libby Law/ESNZ