The Story So Far
At the close of the season Tim and Jonelle became FEI World No.1 and No.2, making history as the first married couple in Eventing to do so. It came at the end of a year of saying farewell to the old guard and bright shining stars emerging. 5 star winners Ringwood Sky Boy, Classic Moet, Wesko, Faerie Dianimo and Ascona M all retired sound and Bango returned to his native Ireland after a season which saw Faerie Dianimo pick up another podium placing in Luhmuhlen and 19 year old Classic Moet retain her crown as the fastest horse round Burghley yet again. The team won Bronze in Pratoni del Vivaro’s World Championships, Tim won individual Bronze with Falco and then won Fairhill 5 star with Coup de Coeur Dudevin and Jonelle closed out the season with a win at Pau with Grappa Nera.
The year of Tokyo 2020
The year of Tokyo 2020, learning to live with Covid and the endless complexities of travelling to Europe after Brexit. The Sunshine Tour was halted this year with an outbreak of EHV virus so it was another early return and the fact that Tim and Jonelle managed to compete all over Europe and fly horses to Tokyo and America (twice) was a triumph of paperwork and testing over bureaucracy. Highlights included Tim and Xavier Faer’s 2nd at Kentucky and 3rd at Fairhill 5 stars, Jonelle’s 3rd at Kentucky with Grovine de Reve before top 12 individual placing at the Games and a brilliant conclusion to the final 5 star of the season at Pau in October with Tim and Falco in the win spot with Jonelle and McClaren in 3rd. Two new 5 star horses to add to the string was the icing on the cake.
2020. The year of COVID-19.
Miss Abel Casey Price arrived on February 10th and the whole crew were down on the Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera with 15 horses, 2 children, 5 staff and 1 boxer dog. Everything was going to plan until the Corona Virus became the biggest topic on the planet and shut down the Tour early. Eventing slowly got going again in July but in a very different way and a frustrating year of frantic re-planning culminated with Tim and Jonelle taking 5 horses to Pau 5* with Wesko gaining yet another podium placing and Grovine de Reve emerging as a new star for Jonelle
Tim becomes World No.1
Tim added a second win at the 5 star Luhmuhlen on Ascona M and became FEI World No.1 in the process. Tim and Jonelle dominated the ERM at Arville in the summer taking 1st and 2nd spots on Wesko and Faerie Dianimo and alongside Sir Mark Todd they formed a three man team that won the Nations Cup in Camphire. Kiwi legend Toddy used the podium to announce his retirement from the sport and it seemed fitting that the two he had inspired to follow his footsteps to the UK eventing scene were alongside him. Jonelle and Classic Moet blitzed the opposition to win the British Open at Gatcombe and Tim attempted to ride 3 horses round Burghley with Bango proving the best of them to finish top 5.
General Total Breakthrough!
After knocking at the five-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.
News she is pregnant scupper Jonelle’s plans to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jonelle wins team bronze with Flintstar (a horse bred by Tim’s parents) at the London Olympics.
Tim breaks his leg and with so much time on his hands gets to thinking – a marriage proposal is the result. Jonelle accepts.
Aachen World Championships
Jonelle and Mazetto are team reserve for Aachen World Championships and the years of serious grafting begin.
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”.
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.
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.
Tim & Jonelle
Tim and Jonelle become more than just friends!
First World Cup
Tim is focused on show-jumping and competes in his first World Cup.
Jonelle ditches a law degree at Canterbury University after one year in favour of eventing.
Jonelle’s parents start fielding calls from some boy called Tim who she met at a horse show.
Jonelle sits on a friend’s pony and is hooked!
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 Richards is born, also in the South Island of New Zealand but to a completely un-horsey family.
Tim Price is born to horsey parents on a farm in the South Island of New Zealand.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Male civilians are allowed to compete at Olympic level. Women have another 40 years to wait.
Eventing becomes an Olympic sport, but only for male military officers on active duty.
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.