Jonelle Price was asked how she felt after being 22nd after dressage, she replied, “I feel like I’ve been digging myself out of a hole all week, after the dressage, and when I took the long route unplanned out of the Dairy Mound.
I think it was perhaps a bit more technical than we’ve seen here in the past few years. The terrain is always really influential, you really notice it in the order in the SJ, the ones who have gone faster, a bit more has been taken out of them.”
I asked how her amazing XC round felt, and she said, “It didn’t feel quite as smooth as I would have liked it to, but I was maybe going a bit faster than usual. She makes my job very easy.”
Andrew Nicholson: “I do have a soft spot for Nereo, I am very proud of him. He’s getting on a bit now, it’s the 3rd time he’s been 2nd here, it’s one of the few places he feels like he doesn’t enjoy going around here, the ups and down of the course really take it out of him because of his long stride, but he gets on with it.”
Asked how Nereo felt in the trot up, whether he was a bit stiff, he replied, “He’s much better than I am!”
What was it like going into the arena with all that pressure?
“It was very special, I am glad to enjoy those moments because it’s good fun on the last day if the sun’s shining and you get to canter into the main arena.
I tried to keep it interesting for everyone by getting it as close as I could.”
Did you expect your horse to jump like that when you were outside warming up?
“He warmed up ok, he was of course a little bit flat, he’s basically a careful sjer and I expected him to go well, but he got a bit tired and had a few.
Not in my wildest dreams did I expect to lead from start to finish.
I walked up Winners’ Avenue on Wednesday and saw all those old boys’ names on there, and thought how nice it would be to have my name on there one day.
I am sitting here wondering if I had gone a bit slower would I have had 3 or 2 down.
I thought the ground in the SJ was pretty dead, along with tired horses and the dead ground yesterday, but that’s 3 day eventing.”
Richard Jeffery, the SJ Course Designer.
“It’s more complex. The XC courses are getting more and more technical, the dressage is getting lower and lower scores, so the SJ has to stay with it. The footing was very wet and holding when we built the course last night, but this morning we walked it with the Ground jury and it had changed a bit, and it’s worse when it’s in-between.
We were generous with the time, we didn’t want horses slipping.
The spreads were mostly much narrower than they were last year, we pulled spreads in, ramped some of the oxers.
It’s interesting how many moved on the scoreboard. The top 4 are the same 4, we kept them together. But the footing had an effect. It’s not a flat arena, it’s a lot of ups and downs, it unbalances the horses, it’s very easy to do that especially when the ground is as soft as it is. It does have an influence on the horses, especially if they’re a little tired.”
Overview from Elizabeth Inman, Burghley Director.
Is she happy with LRBHT 2016?
“It was fabulous, it’s fun when the sun comes out, not so much fun yesterday for everyone. A challenging Three Day Event, well done to all of you.”
The Press Conference finished with a presentation of bottles Pol Roger champagne to the winners, and two cakes, one for the winning horse, one for the winning rider, a very special touch.