In the best form of her life, Jonelle Price is on top of the world with her second CCI4* win in six weeks, adding the Luhmühlen title to the Badminton crown she seized in May.
The pressure was at full force for the final phase: following overnight leader Boyd Martin’s withdrawal, Jonelle was in pole position, but needed to show jump clear for victory. And with her trademark grace under fire, that’s exactly what she did, guiding her extraordinary mare Faerie Dianimo to a super clear.
“If you’d asked me in January — when I was just trying to get back up to full fitness and do a full day’s work — if I’d be sat here at the end of June with two four-star wins under my belt, I would have said you were completely mad,” Jonelle says. “It’s beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of. I’m feeling incredibly lucky right now with these two special mares.”
Faerie Dianimo, who is a 13-year-old British-bred mare and not even 16hh, was one of just six horses to jump clear over the challenging show jumping track, and finished the event with just 1.2 cross-country time faults to add to her dressage score. She had been sent to the holding box at the final veterinary inspection, but was passed on re-inspection.
“She dug really deep today and it is a testament to her resilience and courage,” says Jonelle, who pockets a cool 33,000 euro for the win ($NZ55,000).
The next three places all went to British riders, who all show jumped clear. Laura Collett and Mr Bass were second, and the only combination to finish on their dressage score, Ros Canter and Zenshera were third, and Kitty King was fourth on Ceylor LAN.
Fellow Brit Willa Newton had a pole down but was fifth on Chance Remark, and Irish riders Sam Watson and Cathal Daniels each had two down, but were delighted with sixth and seventh spots.
Kiwi Jesse Campbell had one rail down on Amsterdam 21, and finished in 19th place of the 29 who completed the event.