Leaders Maintain Dressage Advantages At Blenheim

Julia Krajewski, leading the CCI3*
Credit : Adam Fanthorpe

Saturday 16 September - 21h39 | Lulu Kyriacou

Leaders Maintain Dressage Advantages At Blenheim

The Ssang Yong Blenheim International Horse Trials certainly did not lack in excitement today despite the leaders remaining the same in all three sections. Julia Krajewski  is still in front in the CCI3*, Japan's Kazuma Tamoto still heads the CIC3* 8/9 Yr Old and Izzy Taylor maintained her advantage to win the final round of the Event Rider Masters (ERM).  

 - Leaders Maintain Dressage Advantages At Blenheim

Izzy Taylor, Be Untouchable
Credit : Adam Fanthorpe

David Evans, the new course designer this year had expected a fair few to get round inside the time if the weather remained kind (which it did) providing perfect going but only nine of the CCI competitors managed to get round inside the time. These included all the top three after dressage  leaving the standings unaltered in those positions. Pippa Funnell is still second on MH Grafton Street and Kim Severson is till third on Cooley Cross Border and all are within a fence of the leader.

 Laura Collett moved into fourth from ninth on Mr Bass. The biggest losers were Kitty King (originally 4th) and Jonty Evans (eighth after dressage with Cooley Roukes Drift) both of whom had stops at the last part of the coffin at Fence 19, which was by far the most influential on the course. Andrew Nicholson was even worse off on his second ride, Brynesgrove First Diamond, who was eliminated from seventh place after a fall at the off-set houses at 22.

Julia Krajewski rode out on the course knowing the lead was hers to lose but despite a couple of steep landings, her round was classy and finishing on top spot was never really in doubt. Chipmunk was a pleasure to ride,” said Julia, who scored her first four-star victory, at Luhmuhlen, this year. “I chose to bring Chipmunk to Blenheim because he likes to go on and the course provided the space I needed. One or two of our landings were not perfect, but he kept galloping and jumping and I am very proud of him.”  
The newest German star does not have a fence in hand though over Pippa Funnell, who sadly ended the day with a fall from Chippeq in the ERM section.

It was the American raiders though who were really the class act of the day. All of them completed, six out of seven with clear rounds, and now they have both Kimberley Severson and Hannah Sue Burnett Pictured below)  in the top ten and Doug Payne, Laurern Kieffer and Liz Halliday Sharp in the top 20. Kieffer and Payne were particularly impressive with Vandiver and Landmarks Monte Carlo. " I am thrilled, I had a great ride. We are pretty happy in the American barn tonight."

This sentiment was echoed by David O'Connor, overseeing two of the riders he trains. " Even though I am not part of USEF high performance now, you have to pleased about how our riders have gone. I am here training Hannah and Lauren and they couldn't have done better, I am very pleased with them. I thought the course on the whole  was maybe a little soft for the level."

 - Leaders Maintain Dressage Advantages At Blenheim

 - Leaders Maintain Dressage Advantages At Blenheim

Doug Payne, Vandiver
Credit : Lulu Kyriacou

Oxfordshire rider Izzy Taylor rode a superb clear cross-country round under pressure to claim the seventh and last leg of the Event Rider Masters series. It was an eighth international win this year for Taylor, 34, from Bicester, but, as leader after the dressage and show jumping phases on Be Touchable, she had to endure a long, nervous wait with the cross-country phase run in reverse order.
Australian rider Shane Rose (CP Qualified), and Oliver Townend (Cooley Master Class) were breathing down Izzy’s neck in second and third places but both faulted at the influential third element of Fence 14 (19 in the CCI), the Shires Equestrian Wooded Hollow, a narrow, angled brush. There were cheers as Izzy negotiated the bogey fence brilliantly. “Be Touchable was magic in all three phases,” she said. “The pressure was certainly on. With this horse you have to go for it and you have to mean it and he has to be concentrating. I’ve been coming to Blenheim since I was a little girl doing the Pony Club show jumping and to win here has always been a dream.”
 Marlborough-based New Zealander Tim Price rose from sixth place to eventual second on Ascona M, a ride he pinched from his pregnant wife, Jonelle, this summer and Australian Christopher Burton was third on Graf Liberty. Gemma Tattersall, the series winner, was fourth on Chico Bella P. Tattersall later collected the £30'000 cheque for winning the series.
Finally,  Japan's ex-showjumping rider Kazuma Tamoto used that expertise to jump clear in the CIC3* young horse class which will go cross country tomorrow.  He has only two penalties in hand over Chris Burton and Cooley Lands. The American riders are also doing well in this class. Liz Halliday Sharp is fourth so far on Deniro Z and Lauren Kieffer has risen to eleventh on DA Duras after clear rounds.  

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