MILDENHALL-BASED Jonelle Price capped a memorable 10-month period by bagging the Badminton Horse Trials title on board Classic Moet on Sunday.

New Zealander Price, who took time out of the sport less than a year ago after welcoming her son Otis to the world, put in a remarkable cross-country display on Saturday before completing the showjumping stage with a clear round, her accuracy and consistency earning her a first win at Badminton.

In doing so she became the first female rider to win Badminton since Lucinda Fredericks triumphed with Headley Britannia 11 years ago.

The 37-year-old said: “Winning an event like Badminton doesn’t happen every day, I certainly enjoyed the moment.

“I felt the crowd afterwards. There was a lot of local support, certainly from our village and Marlborough too. Everybody seems to know, it’s a win for Wiltshire.

“I had to be a little more organised after giving birth to Otis last year. I couldn’t just walk out the door hands free. Planning ahead was key.”

Her triumph wasn’t all plain sailing, though.

An average dressage display placed her 22nd at the end of day one, leaving her with work to do to catch the leading pack.

But two faultless displays of jumping from Classic Moet guided Price to her first four-star win, leaving her struggling to believe what she had achieved.

“Her (Classic Moet) weakness is the dressage phase, it’s always been her weakness,” added Price.

“We finished down the order after day one but the margin from the leader to us was not that much. The leading group were tightly packed after the dressage.

“There was a lot riding on the jumping phases, and she proved she can do that.”

It wasn’t just the global bragging rights that Price secured after her partner Tim finished 12th on Ringwood Sky Boy.

“As long as one of us is winning I don’t mind,” she joked.

“We’ve had a difficult spring, a lot has been cancelled with the weather and I was a bit nervous as she (Classic Moet) hadn’t done as much work as normal.

“But she’s experienced and she proved that.

“I would have been disappointed if we finished outside the top 10.”

Runner-up Oliver Townend paid tribute to Price, saying: “This was Jonelle’s day.

“Fair play to her, Jonelle’s mare showed what an unbelievable freak she is, because I knew how hard it was out there on cross-country.

“For a horse to finish the way Jonelle’s mare finished, I hope there is an awful lot of foals coming off her.”