New Zealand eventers have finished second and a fourth in the CCIO4*-S at the CHIO Aachen in Germany after a very influential cross country over night with the Kiwis falling just short of defending their most coveted Nations’ Cup crown…
Tim Price and Wesko were the best of the bunch with their fourth place individual finish, with the team second behind hosts Germany in the Nations’ Cup. Just three of the 42 starters were clear and inside time, with that trio claiming the podium. Ingrid Klimke (GER) claimed her third victory in the prestigious class, and her second on SAP Hale Bob OLD, with a 24.7 penalty point effort. Second on 25.5 was Michael Jung (GER) aboard fischerChipmunk FRH, who won the individual gold last year with Julia Krajewski, and third Chris Burton (AUS) with Quality Purdey on 27.
Tim and Wesko picked up 4.8 penalty points to end the competition on 28.6 – it was the only addition to their dressage score.Jonelle Price and Faerie Dianimo were eighth with their 33.3 penalty point score with Jesse Campbell and Cleveland 13thon 40.8 and Dan Jocelyn aboard Blackthorn Cruise in 25thon 63. None of the New Zealand team riders had any jumping penalties on the cross country, adding only time faults. Individual rider James Avery and Mr Sneezy finished the competition with 141.3.In the Nations’ Cup, Germany stormed home to reclaim the crown with 94.5 penalty points, New Zealand were second on 102.7 and Australia third on 112.4.
Tim said the podium finish for the team was a “nice solid effort” from them all. “We are really happy from a team stance,” he said. “We put down a good plan of banking a couple of clears and it enabled Jonelle and I – going later – to really go for it and try and keep a nice tidy number on the board. It was a job well done. We are all very pleased with our second place.”
The world no.1 was also rapt with Wesko. “He was just awesome and I had a really good round on him,” he said. “The time proved more difficult than I predicted probably – I knew it was going to be tight but he is a very fast horse so I thought it would be a bit more on the cards than it was. It was hard to hunt down – I could have maybe gone a bit quicker in places but overall I am really happy with Wesko. He did nothing wrong and was excellent in all the important places – I could have just nipped and tucked a wee bit more here and there and given him a more of a deserved position up the podium . . . but that is ok because (I have a) healthy horse home and no proper critical problems. That is the nature of the beast. Everyone is in good spirits and it has been a very good week.”
Course designer Rudiger Schwarz has challenged riders at Aachen for 15 years, and it was unanimous that this year was his toughest yet.Three combinations retired during the cross country with four eliminations and just nine of the 42 competitors gathering jump faults with a couple of fences proving the problem obstacles. Overnight leader coming into the cross country, Laura Collett (GBR) and London 52 picked up both jump and time penalties to slide to 20thposition at the end of the day.