An early rail put paid to another 5* victory for world no.3 Tim Price, but the Kiwi eventer still managed to make history and the podium in the CCI5*-L at the inaugural Maryland 5* in the United States this morning.
Tim is the first rider in the world to complete the cross country in all of seven 5* events – the highest rank of competition. Aboard Xavier Faer, he placed third in a star-studded international field, with the win going to Boyd Martin (USA) and On Cue after a nail-biting showjumping test which saw overnight leader, world no.1 Oliver Townend (GBR) take an early rail to relinquish the lead. It is the first American 5* win since 2008. Jonelle Price and Classic Moet placed eighth, with Joe Meyer and Johnny Royale also completing the event.
Tim was rapt with Xavier Faer. “I am very pleased with everything today,” he said. “It was disappointing to have a rail with Xavier Faer who has been a very good day three jumper at 5* and he was today also. It was just an unfortunate rail behind at number two, early on in the course as he was just getting settled . . . it obviously cost me the win, but he was good to jump round from that,” said Tim.
He felt the result underlined the talent of Xavier Faer. “I am just very pleased because it is nice not just for myself, but also for this horse to recently be in the top three on the podium at these big competitions is testament to his ability at this level and his consistency at this level. So, it has been a great competition. Jonelle is very pleased too. We have come over here, had a go and been in the mix. That is all you can ask for really. We would obviously like to do a bit better but that is how it goes sometimes. We are very pleased to be here. Looking forward to coming back next time.”
The showjumping proved challenging with just seven of the 33 starters going clear and inside time. It was a nail-biting final test, with Tim’s rail at the second dropping him to third with a score of 28.3 penalty points, and Oliver’s very costly four faults at the fourth saw him finish on 25.1, giving the win to Boyd on 25. Jonelle’s rail came mid-field at the double and saw her finish the competition on 34.6.
In the CCI3*-L, Joe Meyer and his grey gelding Harbin finished seventh on 35.5 penalty points. The class was won by Kurt Agardy Martin (USA) aboard DA Lifetime on 23.5. Just 35 of the original 50 starters completed the event with the cross country proving too much or 13 combinations.
ESNZ eventing high performance manager Graeme Thom said it had been a great weekend with some strong Kiwi finishes. “Tim and Jonelle shone with Trisha Rickards’ veteran horses who were absolute class in the field,” he said. “Joe showed strength with his new horse Harbin who performed very well I the 3*-L.”
Once again, the Kiwi support crew had contributed to the outcomes. “Maryland 5* must also feel great pride in their inaugural event’s success and hats off to Boyd Martin and his team for bringing home an American victory as the icing on the cake.”
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Xavier Faer – owned by Trisha Rickards, Nigella Hall and Tim Price
Classic Moet – owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Jonelle Price
Johnny Royal – owned by the Team Johnny Syndicate
Harbin – owned by Rebecca Brown
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photo by Shannon Brinkman and Eclipse Sportswire