The Story So Far
Eventing as we know it is invented at Championnat du Cheval d’Armes as a three-part challenge for French cavalry soldiers and their chargers. Dressage demanded elegance and obedience on the parade ground. Cross-country required stamina and bravery over difficult terrain and fixed obstacles. The contest finished with show-jumping over flimsy coloured fences to test the stamina of horses and – with prizes being decided – the nerves of their riders.
Eventing becomes an Olympic sport, but only for male military officers on active duty.
Male civilians are allowed to compete at Olympic level. Women have another 40 years to wait.
Badminton Horse Trials is established. The most prestigious and complete test of horse and rider on earth, most professional riders dream of completing, far less winning, it.
Burghley Horse Trails is established in a setting as beautiful, and with a cross-country course as terrifying, as Badminton. A fearsome test of courage and precision, it features ditches wide enough and deep enough to park family a car in.
At last! Women are allowed in and eventing becomes one of the few Olympic sports where men and women compete against each other and on completely equal terms.
Rolex Kentucky Established
Rolex Kentucky Horse Trails is established at the purpose-built Kentucky Horse Park. Along with Badminton, Burghley, Adelaide (Australia), Luhmühlen (Germany) and Pau (France) today it is one of only six maximum difficulty or four-star events in the sport.
Tim Price is born to horsey parents on a farm in the South Island of New Zealand.
Jonelle Richards is born, also in the South Island of New Zealand but to a completely un-horsey family.
Mark Todd Wins Gold
Mark Todd and Charisma win individual eventing gold at the Los Angeles Olympics. Lucinda Green wins Badminton for a record sixth time – and never on the same horse twice.
Jonelle sits on a friend’s pony and is hooked!
Jonelle’s parents start fielding calls from some boy called Tim who she met at a horse show.
Jonelle ditches a law degree at Canterbury University after one year in favour of eventing.
First World Cup
Tim is focused on show-jumping and competes in his first World Cup.
Tim & Jonelle
Tim and Jonelle become more than just friends!
You know things are getting serious when horses start being put on planes. Tim sells his first great horse Vortex to pay for his other advanced horse Desamoray to fly over to contest Burghley. Jonelle spends her life savings on the airfare for Mazetto. Tim finishes 42nd but Mazetto gets travel sick and never starts.
First Badminton Horse Trials
Tim and Jonelle return to take on Badminton. It pours with rain from start to finish. Mazetto jumps an incredible cross-country round in horrendous conditions, climbing the leaderboard to finish 17th. This gusty performance earns him and Jonelle the travelling reserve spot for the New Zealand team at the Athens Olympics.
Tim and Jonelle re-locate permanently to the UK, finding and setting up camp at Mere Farm in Wiltshire “a little slice of New Zealand in the heart of England”.
Aachen World Championships
Jonelle and Mazetto are team reserve for Aachen World Championships and the years of serious grafting begin.
Tim breaks his leg and with so much time on his hands gets to thinking – a marriage proposal is the result. Jonelle accepts.
Jonelle wins team bronze with Flintstar (a horse bred by Tim’s parents) at the London Olympics.
Tim & Jonelle Get Married
With the words “Today I marry my best friend…” Tim and Jonelle tie the knot at Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough, New Zealand.
First Four Star Win
Tim wins his first four-star with Wesko at Luhmühlen. He and Jonelle then become the first husband and wife on a New Zealand World Equestrian Games team.
A Golden Year. Tim finishes second at Rolex Kentucky and third at Pau four-star events with Wesko. Jonelle and Faerie Dianimo are runners up at Luhmühlen. Tim and Ringwood Sky Boy are runners up at Burghley. Jonelle and Classic Moet finish hot on their heels in fifth place.
The Prices make history in Rio as the first husband and wife on the same Olympic team. Mark Todd rides alongside them at his seventh Olympics, 28 years after his first. Jonelle and Classic Moet scorch round Burghley to finish third. Tim and Ringwood Sky Boy are right behind them in fourth.
News she is pregnant scupper Jonelle’s plans defend her title as the highest-ranked female rider in the world. But just two months after the arrival of Otis Price, she and Faerie Dianimo achieve a top ten finish at Pau. Tim ends the season as a father for the first time, second in the FEI world rider rankings, placed third at Badminton and fifth at Burghley.
General Total Breakthrough!
After knocking at the four-star door for several seasons, this year Team Price rode in, kicked on and cleaned up! Jonelle and Classic Moet blistered round Badminton to rise 21 places on cross-country day and take the title. Just six weeks later she and former-runner up Faerie Dianimo took care of unfinished business and won Luhmühlen. Not to be outdone Tim and Ringwood Sky Boy scooped the Burghley crown in spectacular style after a simply magical display of cross country riding followed by an effortless clear show-jumping round in a phase where nerves have got the better of this sensitive horse in the past.
Watch This Space …
Talent + persistence = serious strength + depth of horsepower. Tim and Jonelle head into 2019 with a quartet of four-star winners and another ten (yes ten) advanced horses ready to challenge at the big events. From the joy of having established stars like Wesko and Classic Moet back at full power, to seeing rising talents like Hester, Cekatinka and Ascona M push through – it’s going to be an exciting season!
The Price Family head to the Tokyo Olympics…?