At the penultimate leg of the Event Rider Masters Series at the Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials, Germany’s Niklas Bschorer has taken the early lead with Tristan Bschorer’s 14-year-old Holsteiner Tom Tom Go 3. The pair performed a beautiful test to score a a 37.0. Twenty-two-year-old Niklas juggles riding competitively with studying medicine but has had good luck at Blair in the past and wouldn’t have missed this trip to the Scottish Highlands.
“Tom Tom Go 3 really focused and stayed with me in the dressage today. I am delighted with him,” Niklas said. “We decided to make the journey to Blair as I have had some good success here winning the CIC* and second in the CCI3* a few years ago. We will take it step-by-step this weekend. He is a good show jumper and there is plenty to jump on the cross country tomorrow. It’s a very exciting position to be in with this level of competition.”
With only Blair and the final leg of the 2017 ERM Series coming soon at Blenheim Palace, top performances are paramount for the series leaders looking to earn every possible point for a chance at substantial prize money. Sir Mark Todd (NZL) is third on the ERM leaderboard and in good standing after today’s dressage. He is currently second on 38.7 with Niki Ryan and Dr. Elizabeth Donald’s Irish Sport Horse Kiltubrid Rhapsody, who finished fourth at leg 5 at Gatcombe Park.
“Kiltubrid Rhapsody is really improving in this phase. As he is only ten years old, we need to polish some areas but he was very good today,” said Mark, who took his test’s background music into his own hands. “I decided to change my music and thought I may as well time it to some of the movements in the dressage test, and it has been fun putting it together.
“To win tomorrow I will need to jump clear and go fast as I can on the cross country. It will be a challenge but he’s honest, does have a good gallop and can be quick, so we will see.”
Hot on Niklas and Toddy’s heels is Australia’s Christopher Burton and the Graf Liberty Syndicate’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse Graf Liberty. This is Chris’s first ERM appearance of the year and in is in the position to put some points on the leaderboard with a dressage score of 38.9.
“I am very happy with Graf Liberty, he was really good in the ring. He makes me work and at home over the last few weeks he has been a little difficult, but he behaved really well today. Things can always be better though, as I made a mistake with the flying changes,” Christopher said. “I feel he is jumping well ahead of tomorrow, but the ground seems a bit holding and he possibly hasn’t been the best jumper out of this going, so it could be an interesting test.”
Gemma Tattersall and Sarah Cohen, currently first and second in the ERM Series rankings, are sitting seventh and eighth respectively after dressage. They will giving it everything they’ve got this weekend. America’s own Liz Halliday-Sharp is making her ERM debut with Deborah Halliday’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse Fernhill By Night. Liz and Blackie are off to a good start in sixth place with 41.9.
Only ten marks separate the top 15, so tomorrow’s show jumping and cross country will be a fight to the finish. We’re down to the wire in the 2017 series and every point matters. Preview the ERM CIC3* cross country course via Cross Country App below. You can watch all the action live and for free tomorrow morning on eventridermasters.tv. Showjumping begins at 6:00 a.m. EST followed by cross country at 9:30 a.m. EST.