New Zealand Olympic and World Equestrian Games veteran Caroline Powell has withdrawn from the country’s squad for the upcoming Games in Normandy, paving the way for Jonelle Price to join the team.
With the addition of Jonelle, it will be the first time a husband and wife combination have made the team, with Tim Price among the original riders named.
Powell, who was a member of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2010 world champs, has had to withdraw after her horse Onwards and Upwards failed to shake a “niggling injury”.
“I am absolutely gutted, but have always said that if he wasn’t 100% I would step aside and let someone else go,” said Powell, who is confident the horse will be back competing soon.
“He is a stunning horse and once we get this problem sorted out he will be back stronger than ever.”
Jonelle Price, who was part of the bronze medal-winning team at the London Olympics, comes in as an individual aboard Classic Moet.
“She’s relatively new and has had a fairly quick ride through to four star level, but she is a gutsy little mare who has improved at a rate that I certainly didn’t expect,” Price said.
Price figures the British-bred thoroughbred (Classic x Gamston Bubbles) will be well suited to the course in Normandy, and while she is small, at 16.1hh, she has a huge heart.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity – I’m sorry for Caroline to come in like this but we are all united in this game and share the highs and lows of the sport. If it was the other way around, I would be equally supportive of her as she is of me.”
Price was planning on having two mounts at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, which are just a week after the World Champs, but to now have one at both top events is “the ultimate”.
And she hopes it is just the first of many championship teams she and her husband Tim will make together.
New Zealand has a successful history at WEG – the team won gold in 1990 and 1998, and bronze in 2010. Individually, gold medals have been won by Blyth Tait and Messiah in 1990, Vaughn Jefferis and Bounce in 1994, and Tait and Ready Teddy in 1998. Mark Todd and Broadcast News won silver in 1998, and in 2010 Andrew Nicholson and Nereo won bronze.
The New Zealand team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games is:
- Andrew Nicholson, Nereo (owned by Libby Sellar) or Avebury (owned by Rosemary and Mark Barlow);
- Mark Todd, Leonidas (owned by Peter Cattrell and Di Brunsden);
- Tim Price on Wesko (owned by Christina Knudsen, Peter Vela, Lucy Sangster and Kate Watchman);
- Jock Paget on Clifton Promise (owned by Frances Stead and Russell Hall).
- Lucy Jackson, Willy Do (owned by Mark, Gillian and Charlotte Greenlees);
- Jonelle Price, Classic Moet (owned by Trisha Rickards).
- Tim Price, Ringwood Sky Boy (owned by Robert Taylor, Selwood.com and Price);
- Megan Heath, St Daniel.