First Badminton. Now Luhmühlen!
New Zealand’s Jonelle Price claimed the second four star victory of her career on Sunday at Luhmühlen Horse Trials in Germany—just six weeks after winning Badminton and ten months after welcoming her first born.
Riding the very feisty grey mare Faerie Dianimo, Price was in sixth after dressage on a score of 27.1 at the storied event. Adding just 1.2 time faults on the cross-country course, she moved into second, only to take over the overnight lead after USA’s Boyd Martin withdrew his mount Shamwari 4 due to a hock injury.
On Sunday, the Olympic bronze medalist sealed the deal with a clear round in the show jumping phase.
“This mare can be a little crazy at times—she can be difficult in dressage, very strong in cross-country and jumps like she is huge—but this is what makes her as good as she is!” said 37-year-old Price.
Britain’s Laura Collett and Rosalind Canter took second and third, respectively, on identical scores of 29.90, their placings decided by cross country phase. Canter had the better dressage score of 27.10 to Collett’s 29.90, but incurred 2.80 time faults on cross country while Collett stayed within the optimum time.
Those faults would prove costly—to the tune of 10,000€. Second place takes home 23,000€. Third place, 13,000€.
“I am so incredibly happy with my horse, who came to me as an unbroken four-year old,” said Collett. “This makes it so much more special! We work so hard with our horses and there are definitely more lows than highs in our sport, so we really enjoy moments like this. Mr. Bass tried his heart out for me this week, he knew when it mattered most—I am so proud!”
For Martin, the weekend likely brings an end to Shamwari’s four star career.
Posted the American Olympian on Facebook:
“Unfortunately I have decided to withdraw Shamwari from today’s showjumping. When I finished the cross country yesterday he looked sore in his hind leg. A number of the top vets here at the competition all agreed that he has strained his hind tendon, and it would not be right to try to present him for the trot up. It is a very rare injury.
Shamwari has been in good health and had a wonderful preparation towards this years Luhmelen Four Star. He has been closely monitored Dr Kevin Keane, Dr Susan Johns and Dr Dean Richardson through his whole preparation and through this event. He had no pre existing issue coming into this event and were looking forward to a great result.
Being a 16 year old horse, this will most likely be the end of Shamwari competing at the top of the sport. It has been an absolute privilege to ride him. He is one of the best horses I have ever ridden, and it was sad that he never won a four star. I truly thought that this weekend was his. I would like to thank his owners in the Shamwari Syndicate, Silva and Nox, coach Erik Duvander, his groom Mike Pen and my vet Kev Keane. I look forward to get Shammie back to the promised land for him to heal up.”
The next four star event will take place in August at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in Great Britain.