WILTSHIRE Olympian Jonelle Price has been waiting a long time for her second appearance at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials but is set to bring that decade-long hiatus to an end this weekend.
The 33-year-old, who was part of the bronze medal-winning New Zealand team at London 2012, partners The Deputy this weekend, ten years after making her Badminton debut on Mazetto in 2004.
Price is based in Mildenhall alongside husband and fellow Kiwi international Tim and says the couple are targeting a positive performance to help strengthen their claim for spots in the New Zealand team for this summer’s World Championships in Normandy.
“The World Championships are the big one for us and that means that Badminton really is make-or-break – a good result there could go a long way to helping you get into the team,” she said.
“Obviously you’ve got the likes of Andrew Nicholson and Toddy (Mark Todd) but I want to try and get in there.
“Tim’s ride Wesko will be competing at this level for the first time but has done well at three-star before and could have a chance of making it.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been at Badminton – it’s difficult to have a string of top-level four-star horses and I was due to compete two years ago, before that year got rained off.
“It’s a local event and I’m looking forward to it.”
West Littleton’s Harry Meade will be in action with Wild Lone less than a year after being told he may never ride again when he broke both his elbows in a fall at Wellington.
“To be back at Badminton was my big target. When someone tells you that your career is over, it makes you look at things in a very different light,” said the 30-year-old.
“When you get a second chance, you don’t take things for granted. I am going to enjoy Badminton, especially having thought it was never going to happen again.”
Tom McEwen will go looking to improve on his top-20 debut last year when he takes on Badminton on Dry Old Party and Diesel.
Other Wiltshire riders including Lucinda Fredericks, Rebecca Howard and Beanie Sturgis are all set to compete at this year’s trials.
Badminton was getting under way this morning (9am) with the first dressage tests.
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