Video Interview: Tim and Jonelle Price

     Jumping of a different kind - Tim, Jonelle and Otis Price on the bouncy castle at Puhinui International


It has been a very successful year for New Zealand’s hot couple of eventing, Tim and Jonelle Price who, between them, won three CCI4* titles in 2018.

Jonelle kicked off the year by winning at Badminton on Classic Moet then followed it up with a win at Luhmuhlen on Faerie Dianimo and Tim won at Burghley on board Ringwood Sky Boy in September ‘a major, major achievement, the biggest achievement I’ve had so far’ (watch our XC video of Tim's full cross country ride at Burghley here)

Their success did not come as a bolt from the blue as this couple from Christchurch, New Zealand have been working hard over the years, developing teams of top class horses and forging relationships with dedicated owners, particularly since they left New Zealand in 2015 to base permanently in the UK.

They have grown to be world class competitors with many highlights prior to this year. Jonelle won team bronze at the London 2012 Olympics and Tim took his first CCI4* title at Luhmuhlen in 2014, they made history as the first married couple on an Olympic team at Rio 2016 and have become a key component of the Kiwi international eventing success story, but it was in 2018 that the hard work really paid off in spades


      Jonelle and Faerie Dianimo at Luhmuhlen (above) and Tim on Ringwood Sky Boy at Burghley (below)


While Tim’s horses were ripe for a win at 4* level, having finished third at Badminton and fifth at Burghley in 2017, it was ‘a bit of a shock’ to win two 4* titles for Jonelle, who had taken 12 months off competing due to the birth of their first son, Otis

“It says a lot for a long-term partnership with a horse” says Tim “All three horses (that won at 4* level) were old friends of ours and that stands for a lot – they weren’t ‘flashes in the pan’"

Debbie Higgs talked to Tim and Jonelle about the past year, their plans for the top horses in the non-Championship ‘re-gathering year’ of 2019 (including some jumping prep in sunny Spain) and their younger horses who will hopefully be the stars of the future

“An important part of the job is to keep the next generation coming through” says Jonelle “For me, we’ve made a conscious effort to fill the gaps by ‘stocking the shelves!’”

Tim and Jonelle are spending Christmas with family in New Zealand before heading back to the UK but they will be back in New Zealand in March when they will be competing at the NZ Horse of the Year Show. That will be the first time they have competed on home soil since 2004, when Jonelle competed in the CCI3* at Puhinui International, the very location where this interview took place