|New Zealand rider Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy are in fifth place after dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England. But they have already won one event: the Worshipful Company of Farriers' Best Shod Horse Award. Photo © Libby Law.|
File this under "breaking news", with more details to follow.
New Zealand rider Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy are tied for fifth place after dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England. Tomorrow they will face one of the world's most formidable cross-country courses. But they have already won one event: the Worshipful Company of Farriers' Best Shod Horse Award.
Burghley is a four-star level three-day event, and presents one of the most challenging cross-country courses in the world.
Ringwood Sky Boy is shod by New Zealand team farrier Andrew Nickalls, DipWCF, who lives and works in England to be able to help out the team horses and riders who are train there for international events. Price and Nickalls combined to win the Best Shod award at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2009 with Price's mount Vortex.
The prize will need to be split many ways. Ringwood Sky Boy is co-owned by Varenna Allen, Robert Taylor, selwood.com and Tim Price. Ringwood Sky Boy is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. He is by the Irish-based Holstein stallion Courage II, and out of a mare by the influential Irish Thoroughbred Sky Boy. He was bred by Myles Mahon of Enniscorthy in Ireland and has been produced through the levels by Tim.
For the last two years at the Badminton Horse Trials with Ringwood Skyboy, Tim has been awarded the William Miflin trophy for the cross country round closest to the optimum time.
The horse's victory was announced on Twitter by Lucy Miles, groom for Tim and his wife, Jonelle Price, who is competing on Classic Moet and is tied for 19th place after dressage.
The prize is awarded on various merits, apparently at the judge's discretion, including the farrier's ability to help a horse overcome its conformational or injury challenges. Other times, it seems to be awarded for excellence in shoemaking or hoof balance management. It's interesting to wonder whether farriers who shoe the advanced eventers in the UK are aware of different judges' to him on that day. Every horse entered at Burghley has its feet judged.
Thanks to Lucy Miles, groom for Team Price this weekend, and Diana Dobson of Equestrian Sports New Zealand for assistance with this article, which will be updated shortly.
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