A perfect cross country round from Tim Price and Falco has seen the Kiwi combo stay at the top of the CCI5*-L leaderboard at Les Etoiles de Pau in France.
The world no.3 remains on his 22.1 penalty point dressage score with Padraig McCarthy (IRE) aboard Fallulah in second on 24.9 and Kevin McNab (AUS) in third on Scuderia 1918 A Best Friend in third on 26.2. World no.1 Oliver Townend (GBR) and MHS King Joules round out the top four with their 27.5 penalty point score.
Tim was rapt. “My wee guy was super. The second part of the plan was to be fast enough, but he was really jumping well. He was absorbing the course beautifully and understanding, and being switched on. It was a really fun round.”
The horse was very fit and “well prepared” and had proven a lot to Tim on his first 5* outing. “His stamina is something you don’t know until you know at this level and he really came home well and I was able to make up a good 10-15 seconds in the last couple of minutes which was testament to the horse,” said Tim.
“It was a super day for our team. The young girls did a great job to just have a mistake and will learn a lot from that and will get to have a full day’s jumping tomorrow and will get the full experience and mileage out of a 5*. I am very pleased and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Jonelle Price and McClaren came home clear with 4.4 time to add to their score, to finish the day on 28.8 in sixth place. “On the scoreboard it is always a bit disappointing to fall a few spots but actually I am delighted with McClaren today,” said Jonelle. “You never quite know if you have a 5* horse until you get there and he really stepped up today. We have had a couple of little blips in his history so the first job was to jump a clear round and the second job was to do what we could on the clock, and I felt we did that today.”
She was very happy to be lying in sixth spot and felt they were still well in the hunt. “He is a fantastic little jumper and if we can come out tomorrow and jump a good round I would be really delighted with his week in its entirety.”
Five star debutants Madison Crowe and Waitangi Pinterest had a runout, picking up both time and jump faults for finish the day on 65.4 in 31st place. Caroline Powell and Up Up and Away are right behind them with their 66.4 penalty point effort, picking up a 15 and time.
They were initially eliminated but on protest were reinstated by the ground jury and received the 15. Tayla Mason and Centennial are in 36th on 77.8.
ESNZ eventing high performance manager Graeme Thom was pleased with all four of the combinations. “It was a fantastic day for Tim and Jonelle,” he said. “They both rode beautifully and the horses have finished in good shape and it was just a top class performance from both horse and rider. They are in great shape going forward. They both just hit the minutes and rode to the plans they had walked. It was great. Jonelle had to do it all in the rain but it stopped for Tim.”
He felt the future looked bright for New Zealand. “Maddy and Tayla rode terrifically. It was a first 5* event for both them and their horses and to have done what they did and had a 20 is unfortunate but it certainly shows both of them are here for the future for Team New Zealand. It has been a good day for Team New Zealand and the up and comers doing their first 5*.”
Eleven combinations came home clear and inside time over the Pierre Michelet-designed course, with six retirements, three eliminations and one withdrawal before the start box.
THE HORSE DETAILS
Waitangi Pinterest – owned by The Crowe Family
Centennial – owned by Sue Rutter, and Sonya, Kyle and Tayla Mason
Up Up and Away – owned by Cameron and Mary Crawford, and Caroline Powell
McClaren – owned by Katherine and David Thomson
Falco – owned by Sue Benson, Jackie Oliver and Tim Price
By Diana Dobson, ESNZ HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ
October 31, 2021