Izzy Taylor rode a superb clear cross-country round under pressure at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials 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 Taylor's neck in second and third places, but both faulted at the influential third element of the Shires Equestrian Wooded Hollow, a narrow, angled brush.
There were cheers as Taylor 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.
Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill by Night added 7.2 time penalties to finish in sixth for the U.S.
Germany’s latest rising star, Julia Krajewski, rode a perfectly judged cross-country round on the 9-year-old Chipmunk FRH to retain her lead going into tomorrow’s final show jumping phase in the CCI3*, SsangYong Blenheim’s showpiece class.
However, she does not have a fence in hand over four-time Blenheim winner Pippa Funnell, whose luck turned with a foot-perfect performance on MGH Grafton Street.
“Chipmunk was a pleasure to ride,” said Krajewski, who scored her first four-star victory, at Luhmuhlen, this year. “I chose to bring this horse 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 seven riders that make up the U.S. contingent all crossed the finish line today with Kim Severson, who won here back in 2001 on Winsome Adante, leading the way in third on Cooley Cross Border with an impressive double clear round.
Hannah Sue Burnett remained in sixth with RF Demeter, adding just 2.8 time penalties. Doug Payne and Lauren Kieffer moved into 12th and 13th respectively with clean rounds aboard Vandiver (5.2 time) and Landmark's Monte Carlo (1.6 time). Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp also snuck into the top-20 with 13.2 time penalties. Andrea Baxter made an impressive move up the ranks from 81st to 31st with 8 time penalties with Indy 500. Tiana Coudray and Under the Clocks had a 20 and 3.6 time to drop to 32nd.
Course designer David Evans’s new track rode well with 46 clear rounds from the 84 starters, eight of which were inside the optimum time.
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This has been a difficult decision, but with the current pandemic situation at hand, we feel that this is the correct and ‘common sense’ direction to take. We are developing a plan to host a shorter, smaller, and more focused competition. We will be using state and local protocols to help guide us through this. Safety is paramount at Rebecca Farm, for both equine and human participants.