Team Price flies the flag of the NZ in France

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Tim and Jonelle Price will be the only New Zealanders to compete in the one and only high-flying international equestrian competition of the year in Pau, France this weekend.There are only six top-tier events held internationally each year, but COVID has resulted in the cancellation of Kentucky, Badminton, Luhmuhlen, Burghley and Adelaide.

A newcomer in Maryland, United States, was also forced to postpone his inaugural run.

Between the husband and wife pair, they’ve won five top-flight events and world number two Tim has a trio of horses on the map in Ringwood Sky Boy, winner of Burghley 17-year-old Wesko and Xavier Faer.

Tim Price and Wesko competing in Pau in 2019.
Photo: Photograph by Libby Law / ESNZ

Ringwood Sky Boy also competed in the Rio Olympics in 2016 and won Burghley in 2018 and has been with Tim his entire competitive career, which began in 2010.

Wesko, 17, has also been with Price stable for almost ten years and won at Luhmuhlen, having already finished second in Kentucky and third in Pau while Xavier Faer, 14, was on the podium in badminton and Kentucky. .

“The horses are all feeling great – they are in good shape and are all very experienced and hope we will be able to demonstrate that. It’s been a little bit strange year as we all know so they haven’t had the normal preparation but I’m very happy to be one of those more experienced horses, ”said Tim Price.

Jonelle will compete in Faerie Dianimo, the 15-year-old British-bred gray mare that she rode in Rio and won in Luhmuhlen in 2018, finished second in 2015 and fourth in Pau in 2014.

She will also compete on Grovine de Reve who is making her debut at this level.

“We are very happy with the preparation of Pau… to have stayed in France. Normally we would have gone back and forth but due to travel restrictions we stayed here this time. ”

The team has been based in Lignières for a few weeks and has 12 horses with them who will compete in various events in the coming weeks.

“It worked really well. This is the first time we’ve done it like this – great facilities so a good opportunity to hang out with these horses and do the final preparations. The navigation was smooth and the luck to head towards with five healthy horses.

Last year, Tim was the best of the New Zealanders competing at Pau finishing sixth.

In all, there are 62 combinations from 10 countries in the field, including the current top 5 in the FEI World Ranking.

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