Jonelle Price has been promoted to New Zealand’s World Equestrian Games squad with Classic Moet after Caroline Powell withdrew Onwards and Upwards due to a “niggling injury,” Equestrian Sports New Zealand announced this afternoon.
“I am absolutely gutted, but have always said that if he wasn’t 100 percent, I would step aside and let someone else go,” Caroline said. “He is a stunning horse, and once we get this problem sorted out, he will be back stronger than ever.”
Jonelle’s husband, Tim, is also on the squad with this year’s Luhmühlen CCI4* winner Wesko, making this the first time in New Zealand eventing history a husband and wife will compete together on a team.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity,” Jonelle said. “I’m sorry for Caroline to come in like this, but we are all united in this game and share the highs and lows of the sport. If it was the other way around, I would be equally supportive of her as she is of me.”
Classic Moet, a British-bred Thoroughbred mare owned by Trisha Rickards, is still new to the four-star level, but Jonelle said she is confident the horse is up to the challenge.
“She’s relatively new and has had a fairly quick ride through to four-star level, but she is a gutsy little mare who has improved at a rate that I certainly didn’t expect,” she said.
Andrew Nicholson, Jock Paget, Tim Price and Mark Todd will make up the team, with Jonelle and Lucy Jackson riding as individuals.