Time proved the decider in the CCI4*-L cross country at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in the UK overnight. While there were plenty of clear rounds from the 83-strong field, just nine were inside time.
The best of the Kiwis, Andrew Nicholson aboard As Is was one of those, bounding up the leaderboard from 33rd to 11th place, still on his dressage score of 31.3 penalty points. Tim Price and his CCI4*-L debutant Falco IV were clear but picked up four time faults, moving from 24trh to 17th on 33.2.
He was moved to tears by the efforts of the horse he has long held solid belief in. “I am elated with that,” said Tim. “I have to admit to a few tears in my eyes getting through the finish. I have had lots of little moments on this horse. He is phenomenal and all I have wanted to do is get to the showjumping with a good score to really show what he can do in that department but I haven’t had that opportunity. He is a cheeky monkey so it is nice to finally get home and have a really good round . . . I feel like all the preparation has been worth it.”
The 10-year-old Hanoverian had been “very knowing” all the way around the course. “It was a fun place to be at the finish and clear.”
Tim said he wasn’t usually that emotional but it came on the back of a tough couple of weeks, including Burghley not going to plan. He had had a bit of a chat to himself about how it would be for things to go well and especially aboard a horse on whom it was so important to not let down.
“I wanted to give him every opportunity and I felt I did that, so it was a nice feeling.” And it felt like it was time to notch another good result or two.
Jesse Campbell aboard Amsterdam II are on 70.4 with Andrew Nicholson and Andrea BT4 on 76.5. The in-form Piggy French (GBR) and Brookfield Inocent have taken the lead on 25.4 penalty points, but there is less than a rail between the top five making for an exciting climax in the showjumping.
Just 64 remain in the field after 10 were eliminated over the David Evans-designed track and eight retired, including Jesse aboard Cleveland and dressage leader Izzy Taylor (GBR) aboard Monkeying Around after a “babyish” run-out. However, the track did ride well and riders were full of praise for the work of David and his team had done on the footing after a dry fortnight.
In the CCI4*-S for eight and nine-year-olds, Tim is the best of the New Zealand eventers after the dressage and showjumping, sitting in 10th spot on a score of 33.8 aboard Senza Fine. The duo added .8 of a time penalty to their tally. William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and Georgisaurous moved from fourth to first on 29.7.
Samantha Lissington and Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ added four to their score to sit in 29th equal on 37.8 with Dan Jocelyn and Florencina R right behind them on 37.9 thanks to a clear round.
The horse details:
Falco IV – owned by Sue Benson
Cleveland – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
Amsterdam – owned by Craig Campbell
As Is – owned by Deborah Sellar and Anna Weir
Andrea BT4 – owned by Andrew Nicholson
Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ – owned by Pip McCarroll and Samantha Lissington
Florencina R – owned by Philip Hunt, Jo Preston-Hunt and Dan Jocelyn
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ