Tim’s number one!

Tim Price is on top of the world, literally! The Kiwi eventing star has topped the FEI World Rankings for the first time in his career

The view from the top! Tim Price has reached number one in the world eventing rankings (Image: Libby Law)

Our very own Tim Price has topped the FEI World Eventing Rankings for the first time, overtaking the current World Champion, the UK’s Ros Canter.

“I have to admit to wanting to achieve this for some time,” Tim says. “It’s gone from a dream, to a driving force, to a reality.”

Tim and Ringwood Sky Boy at Burghley (Image: Libby Law)

2018 was the best year yet for Tim, with wins at the Burghley CCI4* on Ringwood Sky Boy, and Blair Castle CCI3* on Pats Jester. He was also eighth individually at the Tryon World Equestrian Games, on Cekatinka.

Tim and Cekatinka at WEG in Tryon (Image: FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

His recent third-place finish at the CCI5* at Kentucky on Xavier Faer was a contributing factor to his rise to number one, along with the 10th place at last month’s Badminton on Ringwood Sky Boy.

On his way to third place at Kentucky on Xavier Faer (Image: Juli Phillips/Vispera Productions)

“It feels pretty special that’s for sure, mainly because it’s more a recognition of consistency, rather than just outright winning,” Tim says. “I try to bring the best out of every opportunity I have. Not always to win, but always in a way that has my horses wanting to give effort for their own satisfaction and enjoyment. For me, it’s the coming together of all the hard work, a strong focus and great partnership with my equine friends.”

Of course Tim started his riding career in Canterbury, and achieved a lot of success in New Zealand, particularly with Desamoray.

Tim and Desamoray at the National One-day Champs in 2001 (NZHP Library)
Tim and Desamoray win the CCI3* at Puhinui in 2000 (NZHP Library)
Tim and Desamoray in action at Puhinui in 2000 (NZHP Library)
On Desamoray over the famous Barbara Thomson camera fence at Taupo (NZHP Library)
A very young Tim, year and horse unknown, at the Young Horse Show in Taupo (NZHP Library)
Tim with Boondoggle at the One-day Champs, image undated (NZHP Library)

Tim met his future wife Jonelle Richards at a show in 1997, and the pair moved to the UK in 2005, basing at Mere Farm in Wiltshire.

Tim and Jonelle celebrate his Burghley win last year (Image: Libby Law)

Tim’s first tilt at the sport’s top level was in Adelaide with Desamoray in 2002, and a year later he completed his first Burghley. In his own words, it was a “slow burn”, taking many years of hard slog for the couple to establish themselves with a string of top-class horses.

He began to make a name for himself when he was 20th at the Pau CCI4* in 2008, on Vortex, and the pair went on to achieve 20th at Badminton the following year.

Tim’s first four-star win was in Luhmuhlen in 2014 with Wesko, and the second didn’t come until last year when he took out Burghley with Ringwood Sky Boy. But there have been plenty of top placings along the way, as well as being selected for the 2014 and 2018 World Equestrian Games, plus the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Riding for New Zealand at Rio (Image: Libby Law)

Tim celebrated his 40th birthday in early April, and is clearly relishing fatherhood to the irresistible Otis.

Tim and Otis on the podium at Tattersalls, where Tim won the CCI4*-S on the beautiful Ascona M (Image: supplied)
Tim and Ascona M on their way to victory; the pair will start at Luhmuhlen later this month as leading contenders (Image: supplied)