Tim Price held his nerve in the influential final phase of the Longines CCI5* class at Luhmühlen Horse Trials to take the win aboard Ascona M today (16 June).
Tim and the 11-year-old mare had 5.7 penalties in-hand going into the showjumping, and although he jumped clear, he incurred 3.6 time-faults. But it was enough to hold off eventual second-placed and best Brit Tom McEwen and Figaro van het Broekxhof, who rose from fourth after the cross-country.
“I’m delighted,” said Tim. “I know I had a few time-faults, but this mare jumped superbly on the final day, on what is her first five-star completion [having fallen in the water at her first five-star attempt at Pau last year]. It’s awesome for her owners, Ben and Lucy Sangster, Suzanne Houchin and Sir Peter Vela and it’s great to hold up the mantle for team Price.”
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This is the second win for Tim here, having taken the class in 2014 with Wesko. The title also remains with the Price family, after his wife Jonelle won here with Faerie Dianimo last year.
Tom McEwen was pleasantly surprised to find himself in eventual second with Barbara Cooper’s 14-year-old . Figaro van het Broekxhof, who added 1.2 time-faults in the showjumping to his 32.3 dressage, meaning he finished 1.9 penalties adrift of Tim.
“I knew we could go well, but this horse has never galloped over 10 minutes before, so I was unsure of how he would come out and jump today,” said Tom, who was 11th after the dressage. “He has his own way of going but he has an amazing heart.”
Alex Bragg, who was third, was left ruing having a fence down with Philip and Sally Ellicott’s Zagreb, which cost him the win.
“The time was tight and I knew I needed to get inside it to put the pressure on Tim,” explained Alex. “I cut across a fairly innocuous upright and he just touched it with a back toe – it was no fault of the horse, perhaps just a little over-enthusiasm from me.”
Five-star first timers, Frances (Franky) Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin, from the United States, were fourth on 36 penalties, while Britain’s Sarah Bullimore and Reve Du Rouet dropped from fourth to fifth after having a fence down.
Japan’s Yoshiaki Oiwa was sixth with 2017 Bramham winner Calle 44 and Sam Griffiths was seventh with the evergreen Paulank Brockagh.
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The other British riders to make it into the top 10 were Sarah Bullimore with her second ride, Conpierre, who finished eighth thanks to posting one of just two showjumping clears inside the time from the 22 starters, and Becky Woolven was ninth with the 13-year-old mare DHI Babette K.
The other combination to jump clear inside the tight time was Britain’s Jo Rimmer and Isaac Newton, who finished 14th.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, for all the latest news, reports and features. Plus, don’t miss the full report from Luhmühlen in the 20 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine