Jonelle Price: anchor woman

A quick word with the rider given the responsibility of anchoring the New Zealand eventing team

Jonelle (Image: Libby Law)
Jonelle says the riders are surprised at how tough the cross-country track is at Rio (Image: Libby Law)

Jonelle Price is the last New Zealand rider to go, and is also one of the last riders to go in the whole Rio Olympic eventing competition, with just four competitors after her. We are hoping that the rest of the field will be following her at the conclusion of the dressage phase, but in the meantime, she’s got plenty to do.

Jonelle has never ridden in the coveted last spot in a team situation before. “It is a new challenge, it’s a new job for me. It’s about time they gave Toddy a rest!”

When we caught up with her after Tim’s test, she had already ridden Faerie Dianimo that morning. She was then going to head off to walk the course again, and be back in time to watch Sir Mark do his dressage this afternoon. She then planned on riding her mare again before it’s time to go home and have some dinner and a good night’s sleep!

She thinks she will walk the course about four times – “once a day at least!”

“It’s a tough course, strong; we are all surprised at how strong it is, especially given the terrain. In the 10 and a quarter minutes, we have the same number of fences we have at Badminton or Burghley! Time will definitely be a factor.”

The fences that Jonelle predicts will be the ones to look out for are the big table at 23 to the upright gate at 24. “And the corners at fence 6 come very early and need accuracy and honesty. The second element in the first water (fence 4) is big and comes out of nowhere. I think that frog in the last water combination is a stupid add-on and is unnecessary. ”

As to team tactics? “We haven’t worked those out yet; still talking about it. But probably clear and fast!”