New Zealand eventers have scooped the pool at the CCIO3* Military Boekelo-Enschede in The Netherlands, with Tim Price taking the individual crown and the team winning the final of the FEI Nations Cup.
Price and Cekatinka finished on 43.7 penalty points, spear-heading the team result that saw them finish comfortably ahead of runners-up Germany.
Sir Mark Todd finished seventh aboard the very promising McClaren, a horse many were likening to the mighty Charisma.
“I was particularly thrilled with his performance,” said Todd. “At the beginning of this year he was only doing novice, so to finish seventh in his first CCI3* competition is truly phenomenal. I think he is a brilliant horse for the future.”
And it had been a great week for New Zealand.
“It was a fantastic effort by the team to win the final round of the Nations Cup by a convincing margin,” said Todd.
“All the horses went really well, and it was very exciting for Tim with the lovely mare Cekatinka to win the overall competition.”
Conditions had been tough with a lot of rain, but a new all-weather surface at Boekelo for both the dressage and showjumping had paid dividends.
Price had taken a long option on the cross country yesterday and had hoped it wouldn’t come back to haunt him today.
“Where I took the option was riding worse and worse as the day progressed and I was right at the end, so I figured if I could get up on the clock enough I would go long,” he said. “I did and just managed to stay in front.”
He had plenty of praise for Cekatinka, who is usually ridden by his wife Jonelle.
“She is a lovely mare – very nuggety, athletic and simple in the way she jumps and goes.”
It is the first time Price has had a win at Boekelo.
“We (the team) always thought we had a good chance so just got on with it and put a good team performance down.”
Much of the talk going into the event had been about series leaders Germany and Great Britain.
Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance eventing manager, and chef d’equipe for Boekelo, Graeme Thom was very pleased with their efforts.
“It was a great competition with an incredible effort from our team all the way through, from riders, owners, grooms and our wonderful support team,” he said. “All of our riders banded together and worked extremely well as unit which definitely contributed to the performance.”
Price was sitting in fifth place at the end of the dressage, and took the lead after the cross country where he added just four time faults to his 43.7 penalty point tally. He was clean and clear in the showjumping to finish 1.8 penalty points ahead of second-placed Tim Lips (NED) aboard Bayro, with Alexis Goury (FRA) and Trompe l’Oeil d’Emery third on 46.1.
Todd and McClaren added four in both the cross country and showjumping to finish on 50.7 in seventh. Daniel Jocelyn and Grovine de Reve were just out of the prize money with their 66.5 penalty point efforts for 26th place, with Blyth Tait and Havanna van’t Castaneahof on 69.1 in 28th.
The team finished on 160.9, with Germany second on 174.3 and Australia third on 203.7.
It is just the third Nations Cup event New Zealand has contested this season.