Tim Price - New Zealand Rider of the Year | An Eventful Life

Tim Price - New Zealand Rider of the Year

      Tim Price and Ascona M - CCI5* winners at Luhmuhlen 2019 are New Zealand's Rider and Horse of the Year


Sir Mark Todd’s horse Charisma, Tim Price and Ascona M were among those honoured at the Equestrian Sports New Zealand Hall of Fame cocktail party last weekend

Charisma and Sir Mark won back-to-back individual gold medals at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles (1984) and Seoul (1988) and endeared themselves to the nation. Charisma (or Podge as he was known thanks to a keen eye for food) didn’t start his eventing career until he was 10 and, while it was eventing that led him to the world stage, he also competed at B Grade showjumping and Prix St Georges dressage.

Podge was described as a brilliant cross country horse by Sir Mark, saying he was very bold, scopey, fast and nippy – all in all, the perfect combination.

Despite his diminutive height of just 15.3hh the horse was second at Badminton, won Luhmuhlen and twice claimed the British Open Championship as well as a second at Burghley. He retired back to New Zealand at 16 and died in 2002 at Sir Mark’s Cambridge property.  

New Zealand’s UK-based Olympic eventer Tim Price was a big winner at the awards evening, picking up the Rider of the Year crown, and as part of the Team of the Year with Sir Mark Todd and Jonelle Price as victors in the Nations’ Cup class at the Camphire International Horse Trials in Ireland in July. This event was Sir Mark’s last international eventing competition where he made the shock announcement of his retirement.


      New Zealand Team of the Year - winners of the Nations Cup at Camphire


Tim’s horse Ascona M was crowned Horse of the Year alongside Windermere Cappuccino who is ridden by West Melton’s Tegan Fitzsimon. The rising 10-year-old this year successfully defended his FEI World Cup NZ League Series title alongside his National Showjumping crown, continuing a stellar career that has seen him win all the age group series through his career as well as the Horse Grand Prix and Premier Grand Prix series. He is owned by Tegan and the Parkes Family.

The 1964 Tokyo Olympic jumping team, comprising the late Bruce and Graeme Hansen (Gisborne), along with Adrian White (Hawke’s Bay) and Charlie Matthews (Gisborne) were also inducted before 200 people at the event which was held as part of the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show in Hawke’s Bay.

Adrian was the only rider at the celebration while families of the Hansens and Charlie attended. Charlie, who now lives in Australia, was unable to attend.

The team sailed to Tokyo, with the horses stabled on deck beside a rather pungent pellet of garlic. Bruce captained the team, which finished in 10thplace. Just Bruce, Graeme and Adrian competed at the Games with Charlie the reserve. Graeme and Saba Sam were the best of the Kiwis in the opening round with Adrian and Eldorado leading the way in the second. At the end of the Games, Syndicate and Eldorado were sold while Tide and Saba Sam returned to New Zealand.

When they competed at the Wairoa Show on their return, the whole district were said to have turned out to watch them. Graeme was the driver behind the Teams’ Competition which is held annually at the Horse of the Year Show with the coveted Saba Sam Shield up for grabs.


Honoured . . . (from left) Graeme Hansen with Saba Sam, Bruce Hansen with Tide, Charlie Matthews with Syndicate and Adrian White with Eldorado at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games