Price takes Longines CCI5*-L title at Luhmuhlen in edge-of-the-seat final phase

From press release LONGINES Luhmühlen Horse Trials 

He did it again: New Zealand’s Tim Price won the Longines CCI5*-L with Ascona M (31.4) in a nail-biting finish. The World No. 1 rider jumped clear, but didn’t quite make the time allowed. Britain’s Tom McEwen with Figaro van het Broekxhof (33.5) and Alex Bragg with Zagreb (33.7) finished second and third respectively.

Luhmuhlen 2019
Photo: Adrian Fohl

Twenty-two riders presented their four-legged partners in the final vet inspection on Sunday morning. and were classified as “fit to compete”. In reverse order, the athletes then completed the final jumping and showed world-class eventing sport to the numerous spectators. The show-jumping course by Martin Otto (GER) was demanding and quite a few riders added penalties to their scores.

Tim Price and Ascona M were able to maintain their lead. The eventing world number one follows in the footsteps of his wife Jonelle, who was victorious in Luhmühlen in 2018. “It’s very special for me to compete here again. I won my first four-star competition here in 2014 and I’m so happy that things went so well again this year. It makes me really proud that the mare has performed so consistently in all three phases. She does have a bit of an unconventional jumping technique, but that’s because she always tries so hard to do everything right.”

The British rider Tom McEwen with Figaro van het Broekxhof worked his way steadily up the leader-board. After dressage McEwen was sitting in 11th place, but with a spotlessly clean cross-country round he moved up to 4th place before the final show-jumping. With only three seconds above the allowed time, he finished in second place. McEwen, who has been riding the 14-year-old Belgian warmblood since 2018, was full of praise for his horse: “He has a very special character and always tries his best to please. I couldn’t be happier.”

Alexander Bragg and Zagreb, the penultimate starters, missed their chance of winning the Longines CCI5*-L due to an obstacle error: “My horse felt fantastic. That’s why I tried to put some pressure on Tim with a fast round. The time was very tight, so after we had cleared the triple combination, I felt like most of the work was done and took a little risk on the way to the next vertical. Unfortunately, this cost us the win. I’m super happy to be on the podium and with Zagreb’s performance.”

Ireland’s Sam Watson finished 12th (46.1) with Tullabeg Flamenco and Tony Kennedy finished 13th (47.9) with Westeria Lane.

Results here