Price storms to Badminton victory

Sarah Carless…

Jonelle Price became the first woman to clinch the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials since 2007 when she claimed victory with Classic Moët. 

Price was last to go in a tense show jumping. Jumping out of turn, Oliver Townend put the pressure on early with a clear round on Cooley SRS. He then dropped down the order with his Burghley winner Ballaghmor Class with two rails down, eventually finishing fifth. Ros Canter also had a rail down with Allstar B, which gave Price a rail in hand. But whilst a few rails rattled in their cups, they stayed up giving Price victory by 5.1 penalties.
 
 
Afterward she said: “Last night I told myself that it was going to take a clear round to win. Being a CCI4* winner is an elite club to join and it’s been something that has eluded me for a while now, so to now join it – especially here at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials – is very, very special.” 
 
Townend commented: “If you’d have told me I’d have two horses in the top five at the end of this week I’d be very, very happy. I’ve had to fight harder than I’ve fought before and it didn’t always look like I wanted it to look, but both horses have come out of it feeling very good.” 
 
 
With the new scoring system, there was more emphasis on the jumping phases, and indeed this led to a shake up in the standings. Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul rose from equal 35 after the dressage to finish in fourth. And Imogen Murray rose from 59th to finish 11th with Ivan Gooden, a result which saw them win the Glentool Trophy for the greatest improvement on their dressage placing, whilst Joseph Murphy rose from 48th to finish 13 with Sportsfield Othello in the horses six consecutive appearance at Badminton. 
 
 
Faults were spread around the show jumping course on the final day, but fence number one was particularly influential. In total there were only five competitors who went clear and inside the optimum time. Dani Evans and Smart Time produced the first of these in the morning session proving it was possible to navigate the cleverly built course. The unluckiest competitor was undoubtedly Tom Jackson. Waltham Fiddlers Find slightly misjudged fence two, stumbled on landing and shot Tom over his shoulder resulting in elimination. 
 
Images courtesy of TANZY LEE