MARLBOROUGH-based Tim Price had no doubt that ‘quirky’ Xavier Faer had it in him to be a top horse after sneaking his way onto the podium at Badminton.

As Saturday’s overnight leader Ingrid Klimke picked up 16 jumping penalties and seven time penalties in the show-jumping phase, Price, who had gone clear and picked up just one time penalty found himself sitting in third.

A feat that looked an impossible task following a dressage score of 48.2 that left him 34th heading into the weekend, a phase that he believes can be worked on to one day win the competition outright.

“I have always thought of him as a horse for somewhere like Badminton,” he said.

“He came here and is quite unestablished with the dressage but is a fantastic jumper and galloper and that is what was on display.

“His quirks have got in the way of any kind of attempt at a performance but this year, he has gone out three times in preparation for this and he has actually been very good.

“I would have been disappointed if he didn’t come and continue in the same vein.

“I was expecting him to go well across the competition but it’s always unexpected to be sitting here (on the podium) at the end of it.”

It turned into a weekend of hanging around for the New Zealand rider as he went late on in Saturday’s cross-country, where he was only one of two to go inside the optimum time, an act that lifted him up 30 places overnight to fourth.

However, as he waited for the rest of the field to go in the show-jumping on Sunday, Price was the epitome of calm as he soaked in the early summer sun.

“I felt very relaxed,” he explained. “Maybe it was the sunshine but there is a little less pressure when you are in fourth going in and then some horses, it depends. It was never an intellectual battle with this guy so I had to just go in there and get stuck in.”

Tim’s wife Jonelle had to miss out on this year’s competition as she is expecting the couple’s first child in August.