Great Britain’s Alexander Bragg wrapped up a wire-to-wire win of the penultimate leg of the Event Rider Masters series today at Haras de Jardy aboard Sally Ellicot’s Zagreb.
After a personal best in the dressage yesterday, Alex and the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Perion x Renera, by Nagano) were under pressure to perform in the jumping phases, and they delivered with two clear rounds.
“I am over the moon. I was riding a bit like a demon out there, I really, really wanted it. I can’t believe I was faster than Izzy and Gemma (on the cross country), they are absolute speed queens,” he said.
Despite having not competed at the three-star level since 2015, Tim Price and the late Christina Kundsen’s Wesko, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Karandasj x Kolien, by Mittens xx) looked like they hadn’t missed a beat, finishing second today on their dressage score of 25.2. Today’s result moved the New Zealander into third place in the cumulative ERM series standings.
“I don’t think I’ve had another one like him, it’s so much fun having him back,” Tim said of his old friend, Wesko. “You don’t know until you know when you bring a horse like him back out at the top levels, but I guess now I know. It all came flooding back out there–he is just so much fun.”
Izzy Taylor (GBR) and Sophie Dodd’s Be Touchable, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Untouchable 27 x Ureka, by Indoctro), earned a third-place finish. Two extra seconds on cross country cost them second, but they hung on to a sub-30 finishing score with 25.9 points.
The achievability of the cross country varies from year to year at Jardy, but eight riders managed the time around Pierre Michelet’s track today. Chris Burton was among this group with Kate Wall’s Cooley Lands. Their sixth place finished, edges him even farther ahead in the 2018 series rankings.
Laura Collett‘s dreams of taking back her lead of the series were dashed today after a rail and cross country time penalties. But an 11th place finish with Keith Scott, Karen Bartlett and her own London 52 still has her in second overall.
Now we look forward to the series finale at Blaire Castle in Scotland August 25-26, 2018.