Jonelle Price and Grovine De Reve at Wiesbaden in 2019.
Jonelle was born on 14 October 1980 in the South Island of New Zealand. Her family is not horsey, as she explains: “My mum is terrified of animals full stop, and there’s no competitiveness anywhere in my family. I just had a weird obsession with horses and was determined to ride from a young age. Finally, Mum realised it wasn’t a passing thing and we leased a pony.”
She found school easy and her mother, keen that she pursue an academic career, bribed her to go to university by saying she would keep supporting her horses if she continued in education. However, she dropped out after the first year of her law degree at Canterbury University to follow a career in eventing.
Jonelle (née Richards) and her then partner (now husband) Tim Price started to catch the eye of the New Zealand selectors ahead of the Athens Olympics and they suggested the pair travel to compete at Burghley Horse Trials in 2003. Jonelle spent her life savings on the airfare for Mazetto, but he suffered from travel sickness and was unable to compete at Burghley. But they made it to Badminton in 2004, finishing 17th, and were the Kiwi team’s travelling reserve for Athens.
In January 2005, Jonelle and Tim moved to Wiltshire permanently.
Jonelle says: “I remember saying to Mum that it would take us three years to get established in Britain. She said, ‘No, five.’ Really it took us seven years to get to a level we vaguely wanted to be at in terms of income versus expenditure and a couple of decent horses to ride.”
Tim and Jonelle got married in 2013 at Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough, New Zealand.
Jonelle made her Olympic debut at London 2012 and collected a team bronze medal with Flintstar. She also rode Faerie Dianimo at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but the New Zealand team finished fourth and out of the medals.
She has also ridden at two World Equestrian Games (WEG). She hasn’t won any medals, but she was fourth individually at the 2014 WEG on Classic Moet.
Has Jonelle Price had a baby?
Yes, Jonelle and her husband Tim have two children. Otis Price was born in August 2017 and Abel in February 2020.
Jonelle admitted that finding out she was pregnant was a bit of a surprise.
“Never in a million years did I think we would have a baby in 2017,” she said in an interview in February 2018. “But if if didn’t happen then, possibly it would not have happened. The time when we should have been thinking about a family, our careers had just started to gather momentum. I’d definitely been dragging my feet about it.”
She rode two to three horses a day right up until Otis was born and found pregnancy physically easy, but mentally tough.
“It was the first time in my life that I had no focus and drive. Plus I’m a control freak, so handing over the horses was hard.”
After her 2018 Badminton win, Jonelle said: “I was pregnant here last year and sitting on the sidelines incredibly frustrated. It’s not that I wasn’t hungry before, but I’ve come back even hungrier.”
Where is Jonelle based?
Tim and Jonelle Price have been based at Tim and Melissa Brown’s Mere Farm, a few miles outside Marlborough, ever since they moved to Britain in January 2005.