Tim Price has posted the best score for the New Zealand eventing team so far, and is currently in the top ten on his lovely mare Cekatinka, with a score of 27.2.
“I was really pleased with her. She is a young horse as far as experience is concerned. When you get closer to your competition and to the dressage arena, you hope you can stay the same and not go in and change, and get overawed by the crowd and everything. She managed to do that. She went in, felt great and other than a little bit of irritation at the halt in the middle of the test where a bug annoyed her, I couldn’t be more happy.”
While Tim declared that it was hot out there, he also said it didn’t affect their performance. “It is just how it is. The horses are quite well acclimatised now and I have noticed through these last few days they are sweating less and are just in their normal routine really.”
Tim thought the arena was lovely to be in, and said that everyone seems to be performing well in there. “I was hoping my mare would as well and she went in and worked well.”
Tim has decided the cross country is a bigger test than his first impressions. “There are some difficult lines, and there is plenty to do. The time, we don’t know how tight or difficult it is going to be so that heightens the difficulty again. Then we have weather to worry about. Now I have got this done, and we will go back and have another look at the course and take it a bit more seriously now we are getting closer.”
Cekatinka is a very fast horse, according to Tim. “The reason why she was a bit under-rated as a younger horse is that she is quite low over her fences, but she is very deliberate and knows where her legs are. I think that sets her up for being quite quick as she doesn’t spend too much time in the air. Coupled with that she has a big stride so she can take the grown-up distances. I am quite confident but there are so many places you can slip up. It is all about putting in a good team plan so we can be consistent.”
Coming off his huge win at Burghley, Tim says he is taking a lot of confidence forward to this event.
Jonelle of course was on hand to see her husband ride, and was on hand at his warm-up. She always has some advice for Tim before he goes in the ring but ever tactful Tim gave a great answer. “It is usually something that is truthful but annoying at the same time, but I can’t remember what she said this time!”
As to whether Tim will give Jonelle advice before she goes into the arena later today, Tim confirmed he will have a conversation with her but is unlikely to give advice. “It is a good relationship where I would probably take more advice from her in this scenario than she would from me, but then come cross country it is possibly the other way around.”