Jonelle Price’s flying round on Faerie Dianimo had a hiccup at the final fence in the CCI4* at Germany’s Luhmühlen Horse Trials, when frantic flag-waving by officials stopped the New Zealand rider on course.
“There were no nervous moments but when they waved the flag at me to stop and the second to last fence, I was very confused. I thought they couldn’t stop me this close to home, so I jumped the second to last and then they waved the flags even harder, they really, really waved the flags so I thought I had better stop.
“When I asked them why, they were not sure why but it was eventually sorted out and I jumped the last. It was an innocent mistake, the fence judges heard something on the radio. It was unfortunately but mistakes happen and no one was any worse for wear,” Price said.
The stoppage was revealed to be a miscommunication between officials. The fence judge at the second to last was informed by the fence judge at the first fence via walkie-talkie that she should stop Jonelle.
It was the fence judge’s first major event – and she is reportedly mortified as to how it all happened on an “easy” fence.
Otherwise, Price had a great ride on the grey mare, sitting in second place by only .1 behind leader Ingrid Klimke going into Sunday’s final jumping phase.
“She gave me a super ride. She is pint size but a handful. Today she was a smaller handful than in the past. She put in a smooth and fluent round, and feels so much better six months on from Pau where she did her first 4*. I’ve nurtured her and now she feels like an old campaigner and experienced. She is bottomless,” Price said.
“I have never had a horse that could be so exceptional in all three phases until her. It is just a matter of me doing my job.
“She has pulled up really well. Within five minutes you would have thought it was Monday and we had just arrived here,” she said.
“There were no surprises on the course, it rode as it walked. We also had a masterclass from the first rider out (Michael Jung). If it was ridden well, it jumped like we thought. The top-end riders made it look smooth.”