There's no denying New Zealand eventing is on a roll, and not for the first time.

Tim Price's fine victory aboard his top horse Ringwood Sky Boy at the Burghley horse trial in England today continued a remarkable success story in the last year.

As both individuals and teams, New Zealand are in a stellar patch of quality performances.

Consider this roll of honour:


Last October, the New Zealand team won the Nations Cup title at Boekelo in the Netherlands;
Clarke Johnstone won the Adelaide four star event in November;
Jonelle Price then won back-to-back four star crowns at Badminton and Luhmuhlen Germany in May and June;
New Zealand won the teams title at the world equestrian festival in Aachen in Germany in July;
And now Tim Price has matched his wife's feat in bagging his second four star crown.

There have been halcyon periods since Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson led the way in the 1980s and early 1990s for New Zealand teams. This is clearly another.

Three of the last four premier international trophies reside in the Price household in Wiltshire.

"Obviously it's been a year any nation would envy," Equestrian Sport New Zealand's high performance boss Graeme Thom said from England.

"That said, the team environment is extremely strong in this camp and what's made these successes happen is no one is looking in the rear view mirror, except to say 'well done'."

Thom said the riders know the score in the gruelling and often fickle eventing world.

"They know the highs and lows and if you get ahead of yourself you're destined for trouble."

Tim Price made that point after his victory, which followed successive Burghley placings of second, fourth and fifth in the previous three years. Those results had given him "bumps of confidence along the way".


"You know you're one of the better riders out there with a good string of horses, but there's so many people who have that and they don't get to have a big win. I'm just so privileged to be in this position."

Price, who took a one-rail cushion into the ring as last combination at the event, predictably was full of praise for his horse, affectionally known as Ozzie, a 15-year-old gelding, with a bit of humour thrown in.

"He came, he tried and he had a bit of braille going on, but he's such a sincere horse.
"He gives it his all, sometimes gets into a bit of mischief, a bit of trouble, but he was super here.

"I thought if it did go well it would probably be just another day. But no, it's not like that at all."

The Prices now turn their attention to the world games in Tryon, North Carolina, which run from September 10-23.

Both are in the New Zealand team, along with veterans Mark Todd and Blyth Tait and Dan Jocelyn , who finished 32nd yesterday.

The were having a planning get-together tonight (UK time) before the horses are packed off for the journey. All horses and riders are in North Carolina by Thursday night (NZT). Competition starts on September 12.

Spirits, you can only assume, are high.