New Zealand rider Jonelle Price is looking to make it her third successive win at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, after taking the lead in the CIC3* dressage phase with Ascona M on a score of 34.6 penalties.
Currently the highest ranked female rider in the world, Jonelle has won the this event for eight- and nine-year-old horses at Blenheim, in 2014 on Faerie Dianimo, her ride at the Rio Olympics, and Cloud Dancer II in 2015.
“I feel I’ve got a bit of a mountain to climb and quite a lot to live up to,” said Jonelle. “But I’m a competitor so I will be giving it my best shot.”
After the dressage, Pippa Funnell, the most successful rider in Blenheim’s history with four wins, is in second place on MGH Grafton Street with Oliver Townend close on her heels riding Cooley SRS with a score of 36.1.
In the CCI3* the leader board remains unchanged with Bettina Hoy (Seigneur Medicott) in pole position followed by Harry Meade (Orlando) and in third position USA rider Hannah Sue Burnett (Harbour Pilot). Looking at tomorrow’s course Bettina believes it to be a big challenge with the water being a good test.
Tomorrow also sees the dressage phase of the Event Rider Masters final start at 8.30am where Jonelle will ride Cloud Dancer II. She will compete against Oliver Townend, Gemma Tattersall and Australia’s Paul Tapner who are all in the running for the title.