Gemma Tattersall of Great Britain has added a second Event Rider Masters Series win to her resume with a resounding victory riding Arctic Soul at The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, presented by BETA. Her first win came with Quicklook V at the first leg of the 2017 series at Chatsworth.
This weekend she started in 12th place after dressage with the Soul Syndicate’s 14-year-old off-track Thoroughbred Arctic Soul and was well back in 11th after two rails in show jumping. However the time is tough to catch on cross country at Gatcombe, and while no one finished double-clear Gemma and Arctic Soul came closest with only 1.2 time penalties to add. They absolutely powered around the course to finish on 53.7 and earn a hard-fought victory. She is the first rider in ERM series history to sit outside of the top five after dressage to ultimately win.
“I am over the moon. I thought the two rails we had in the showjumping was going to cost us the win, but Arctic Soul gave me the ride of my life around here today,” Gemma said. “I think he is the best cross country horse in the world. It doesn’t matter what the terrain is, he suits any track, he is so versatile and just fabulous.”
Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstål snagged his first ERM podium finish, piloting Andrew Ayres and Svennerstål Eventing’s 10-year-old British Sport Horse Balham Mist to second place with a final score of 55.4. They were 17th after dressage but moved up to seventh after producing one of only three double-clear show jumping rounds in the field. A clear cross country round with the second fastest time of the day moved them up to second place.
“It’s a great result for the horse and by far his best performance,” Ludwig said. “I was trying everywhere on the cross country to make up time as it was very tight. We felt this event would suit Balham Mist, and we have worked very hard on targeting this and he has given everything. I am delighted!”
Alexander Bragg picked up his first ERM completion and earning third place for Great Britain riding Zagreb, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Sally Ellicot. Fourth after dressage with 41.6, they moved into second after a faultless show jumping round. 14.4 time penalties dropped them to third place with a total of 56.0 penalties for the three phases.
A thrilled Alexander said, “This is a great result. Zagreb is a very big horse and this wouldn’t naturally be the cross country track you would select for him. But he went very well, he was focused, bold and committed and he kept trying and trying.”
With this win plus the victory at Chatsworth and additional points earned at Barbury Castle and Haras de Jardy, Gemma has extended her lead in the ERM Series with a total of 104 points. Great Britain’s Sarah Cohen is second on the leaderboard with 91 points followed by Sir Mark Todd of New Zealand with 69 points.
Two events remain in the 2017 series: Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials on August 26-27 and Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials on September 15-16. Learn more at www.eventridermasters.tv.