3 Sep 2018

Tim Price wins Burghley Horse Trials

9:16 am on 3 September 2018

The New Zealand equestrian Tim Price has won the Burghley Horse Trials in England.

Tim Price wins Burghley 2018.

Tim Price wins Burghley 2018. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 39-year-old went clear in the showjumping onboard Ringwood Sky Boy to win the prestigious event for the first time.

He finished on 27.3 penalty points.

Tim Price and his wife Jonelle have now joined British royalty by winning top spots in world equestrian eventing in the same year.

The last time a couple are listed as winning at both the Burghley and Badminton Horse Trials was Princess Anne and husband Captain Mark Phillips in 1971. The couple married in 1973 but had met at a party in 1968.

While Tim won Burghley on Sunday, Jonelle has excelled this year winning at Badminton and another top event, Luhmuhlen.

Five-time Burghley winner Andrew Nicholson put all the pressure in the world on the top four with his clear round aboard the very promising Swallow Springs in their first 4 star start, but it wasn't quite enough to add to his trophy cabinet and he finished in third place on 32.1 with Oliver Townend (GBR) aboard 2017 champ Ballaghmor Class second on 31.9.

Price was also 10th on Bango. Just eight of the remaining 39 combinations managed to go clear and inside time in the showjumping, and two of those belonged to Price who has been in the top five at Burghley for the past three years with Ringwood Sky Boy.

Tim Price, Burghley 2018.

Tim Price, Burghley 2018. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It is his second 4 star victory - the current world number four ranked rider won Luhmuhlen in Germany aboard Wesko in 2014 - but he has been on the podium in prestigious 4* events at Badminton, Burghley, Kentucky and Pau. It was New Zealand's 14th Burghley crown and 30th 4* title, and it is the third 4* trophy to head to the Price household this season with wife Jonelle winning Badminton and Luhmuhlen.

"I am just so so thrilled," said Price who described Ringwood Sky Boy as "such a trier". "He has always been putting his best hoof forward with everything. I'm really just trying to stay up with the misses! She is a great driving force for both of us - we are lucky to have each other. I am sure we will look back on this in years to come - 2018 has been a very special year."

To win meant "absolutely everything" to the Rio Olympian who also paid tribute to Ringwood Sky Boy's long-standing owner Verenna Allen. "Burghley is the place you want to come to and put your best foot forward. You have got to bring your best game - from a riding point of view, this is where you want to be your best. This is very special - I will always carry it with me."

Jonelle was also very proud of their efforts. "Tim is world class - there is no shadow of a doubt," she said. "They are truly deserving winners. This year is remarkable - I wouldn't have said it was possible at the start of the year but dreams do come true. You have to enjoy these things when they happen - you don't know what is around the corner."

Husband and Wife Magic - Jonelle Price celebrates with NZL-Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy take the Title for the 2018 Burghley Horse Trials.

Husband and Wife Magic - Jonelle Price celebrates with NZL-Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy take the Title for the 2018 Burghley Horse Trials. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Sir Mark Todd added four faults to his tally to finish in 18th place on 49.6, rounding off a weekend that didn't quite go his way. "He jumped a really nice round," he said of NZB Campino. "Unfortunately we had just one down. It has been a bit like that all week with him - nearly but not quite in all three phases."

Caroline Powell and On the Brash 31st and Dan Jocelyn aboard Dassett Cool Touch 32nd. Burghley débutante Ginny Thompson decided Star Nouveau had done enough with such a "beautiful and comfortable" cross country yesterday and withdrew her from the final phase.

"She was not quite herself this morning and in her best interest I decided to withdraw her from Sunday's final phase," said Thompson. "I am just so thrilled - she has given me an experience of a lifetime."