New Zealand’s Tim Price and the New Zealand bred Vortex took out the Retraining of Racehorses Championship (ROR) at the Barbury International Horse Trials in Britain at the weekend.
The pressure was on as they had to go clear after fellow New Zealander Dan Jocelyn on Valemount and Ollie Townend on Black Tie II had both already gone clear.
Price and Vortex showed their experience with a faultless round and despite hitting one pole hard enough for it to jump out of the cups, luck was on their side and they held on to win.
Townend and Black Tie II finished second, with Jocelyn third on Valemont, a nine-year-old by top National Hunt sire Presenting.
Following Friday’s ROR Novice and Intermediate competition, the top ten places show-jumped off against each other. There were 30 starters, and 27 completions.
“The win is great for Vortex, he is a bit of a old campaigner now and it’s good to be out with him as we have missed a couple of competitions this year due to the rain,” Price said.
Vortex, who turns 20 in October next year, was the last son of Imperial Guard to be registered to race. He is out of the Tawfiq mare Val a Tor, and was bred by Ellis Winsloe in Gore. His racing name was The Last Imperial, and he won a maiden race as a six year old over 1600m. He ran second once and was also fourth and fifth once, for a total of $NZ3600 in earnings. He last raced in Riverton in May, 2000, and was bought from his Southland owners by Tim’s mother, Raewyn.
Price and Vortex won the Taupo two-star in 2003, and the horse was sold to Sweden to finance Price’s first trip to Britain with Desamoray. While in Swedish ownership he was ridden by Paula Tornqvist. Then in 2006, when Price moved to the UK, the new owner sent the horse back to him to compete. Price brought Vortex through the grades to 3* level, and completed Badminton in 2009.
Vortex was one of three horses Price had long-listed for the Olympics in 2008.
Second placed Townend was delighted with Black Tie II , an 11-year-old, by Mughtanim, who recently completed a two star in Ireland. “I am really pleased with him and he is ready to go on now,” Townend said.
The class is sponsored by Retraining of Racehorses and the National Trainers Association and is open to all grades of horses who have raced in the UK. This is its sixth year of running. Retraining of Racehorses is the official welfare charity for retired racehorses of British Horseracing.
1. Tim Price, Vortex (29.6)
2. Oliver Townend, Black Tie (30.0)
3. Dan Jocelyn, Valemount (31.8)