6 Sep 2015

Price well placed for Burghley title

1:53 pm on 6 September 2015

The New Zealand equestrians Tim and Jonelle Price have climbed the leaderboard following the cross country to sit second and third respectively heading into the final day at the Burghley International Horse Trials in England.

The New Zealand equestrian Tim Price.

The New Zealand equestrian Tim Price. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Still well in touch too, is Sir Mark Todd who is seventh, with Jock Paget in 24th.

Jonelle Price and her little mare Classic Moet - on whom she was fourth at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games last year - were one of just two combinations to go clear and inside time over the challenging Captain Mark Phillips' course.

She was delighted with her round that saw her move up from 19th after the dressage.

"She was class all the way round," she said.

"I feel pretty lucky to be sitting on her come cross country day, she is such a little athlete. She is fast and does it so effortlessly, and that instils a lot of confidence in you as a rider."

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy were clear but picked up 2.8 time penalties - and that was despite Tim riding the course with a bee in his shirt stinging him.

World number one Michael Jung (GER) and the overnight leader Fischerrocana made an early exit after the mare stumbled and fell going into the water early in the course.

However, he was back later with his other mount La Biosthetique - Sam FBW, on whom he got just 0.8 time penalties to move from seventh to first.

But it is tight at the top of the leaderboard, with Jung on 40 penalty points, Tim Price on 41.5 and Jonelle Price on 44.9. Christopher Burton

(AUS) fills spots four and five with 45 and 47.6 respectively, followed by Bill Levett (AUS) in sixth and Todd seventh on 50.5.

Tim Price was exhilarated with the efforts of his Irish sport horse.

"It is great to come home with a healthy horse in a clear round and close-ish to time," he said.

But the two didn't have everything their own way, with a couple of "slippery" moments.

"He has a massive heart and just dives his way through," said Price.

"He jumped a lovely round and it went the way I wanted it to go, so I am really happy."

Price says he will draw on his previous experience of being in similar spots going into the final round, and not let the situation get to him.

"I am just going to hope for the best, do a good job, ride a good round and hopefully he (Sky Boy) will be there to do his part too."

As expected the time on the cross country course proved the game-breaker.

Of the initial 74-strong field, six withdrew, five retired and eight were eliminated.

Of the remaining 55, just two were clear, but only two in the top 36 collected jump faults.