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Three Kiwis in Top Seven at Burghley

Three Kiwis in Top Seven at Burghley

Team Price are buzzing after a brilliant day’s cross country saw husband and wife Tim and Jonelle sit second and third at the Land Rover Burghley International Horse Trials in the UK this morning.

Still well in touch too, with just the showjumping to go tomorrow, is Sir Mark Todd aboard Leonidas II who is seventh, with Jock Paget and Shady Grey in 24th.

Jonelle Price and her zippy little mare Classic Moet – on whom she was fourth at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games last year – were one of just two combinations to go clear and inside time over the challenging Captain Mark Phillips’ course. She was delighted with her round that saw her move up from 19th after the dressage.

“She was class all the way round,” she said. “I feel pretty lucky to be sitting on her come cross country day, she is such a little athlete. She is fast and does it so effortlessly, and that instils a lot of confidence in you as a rider.”

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy were clear but picked up 2.8 time penalties – and that was despite Tim riding the course with a bee in his shirt stinging him.

World number one Michael Jung (GER) and the overnight leader Fischerrocana made an early exit after the mare stumbled and fell going into the water early in the course.

However, he was back later with his other mount La Biosthetique – Sam FBW, on whom he got just 0.8 time penalties to move from seventh to first.

But it is tight at the top of the leaderboard, with Jung on 40 penalty points, Tim Price on 41.5 and Jonelle Price on 44.9. Christopher Burton (AUS) fills spots four and five with 45 and 47.6 respectively, followed by Bill Levett (AUS) in sixth and Todd seventh on 50.5.

Tim Price was exhilarated with the efforts of his Irish sport horse.

“It is great to come home with a healthy horse in a clear round and close-ish to time,” he said. “That is this job done and tomorrow is next.”

But the two didn’t have everything their own way, with a couple of “slippery” moments.

“He has a massive heart and just dives his way through,” said Tim. “He jumped a lovely round and it went the way I wanted it to go, so I am really happy.”

Price says he will draw on his previous experience of being in similar spots going into the final round, and not let the situation get to him.

“I am just going to hope for the best, do a good job, ride a good round and hopefully he (Sky Boy) will be there to do his part too.”

Todd too had a few hairy moments on course.

“Riding cross country, you can’t always be as stylish as you hope to, and sometimes you just have to make it happen,” he said. “There were a couple of fences like that but he was pretty amazing all the way round. He is such a trier – so honest and brave – but hasn’t had a run since Barbury Castle in early July, and I think that probably accounts for how he was a little bit green today.”

The horse had pulled up feeling good, and Todd was hopeful he still had lots of energy for the showjumping.

Paget was clear also, but had time faults. He and Shady Grey moved up the leaderboard from 34th to 24th.

As expected the time on the cross country course proved the game-breaker.

Of the initial 74-strong field, six withdrew, five retired and eight were eliminated. Of the remaining 55, just two were clear, but only two in the top 36 collected jump faults.

Meanwhile, Lizzie Brown and The Kincooley Ceili finished sixth in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse five-year-old final, which was won by Tiana Coudray aboard Cavilier Crystal.

The New Zealand riders and horses are – Jonelle Price on Classic Moet (owned by Trisha Rickards), Sir Mark Todd on Leonidas II (owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Todd), Tim Price on Ringwood Sky Boy (owned by Varenna Allen, Robert Taylor, and Price), Jock Paget on Shady Grey (owned by Lucy Allison, Olivia Berry and Paget) and Lizzie Brown on Kincooley Ceili (owned by Susan Lamb).

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