Mill Street, Ireland
Blyth Tait is sitting pretty in Ireland, leading the CCI3* class on Havanna van’t Castaneahof with a score of 42.9, and in third place on Darius with 50.1. Izzy Taylor on Perfect Stranger, previously ridden by Andrew Nicholson, is in second on 45.6. Blyth added just 0.4 cross-country time penalties to his dressage score on Havanna, and was bang on the optimum time with Darius.
Jesse Campbell had a good win in the CIC2* on Amsterdam 21, having led the competition throughout. The pair finished on their dressage score. Laura Collett was second and third on London 52 and Cooley Again. Blyth was 13th on Dassett Courage and 16th on Leo Distinction. James Avery was 19th on Vitali.
Izzy won the CIC3* on Be Touchable, leading throughout the competition. In the CCI2*, James Avery and Zazu had 20 faults in a combination towards the end of the course, and added 8 time faults to be in 10th place going into show jumping.
Blair Castle, Scotland
Riding the grey gelding Kiltubrid Rhapsody, Sir Mark Todd holds second place after dressage at Leg 6 of the Event Rider Masters, with a score of 38.7. Sir Mark rode this horse into fourth place at Leg 5, which secured him third on the ERM leaderboard. If he can deliver a podium performance this weekend he will be in strong contention for the overall series title at the final leg.
Commenting after his dressage, which he also choreographed some of the movements to his music choice (a first for an ERM competitor), Sir Mark said, “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. I decided to change my music and thought I may as well time it to the 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 and does have a good gallop and can be quick, so we will see”.
Tim Price is in 13th spot on Cekatinka after scoring 44.6 in their dressage phase. Megan Heath and Camelot are 20th on a score of 49.6.
Chris Burton is in third place with 38.9 points, and Shane Rose is 9th on Virgil on with 43.1.
Germany’s Niklas Bschorer – the youngest rider in the competition – leads after dressage on a score of 37. Almost four decades separate him in age from 61-year-old Sir Mark.
Niklas, who combines riding with studying medicine, rode a beautiful test on Tom Tom Go 3. “He was really focused and stayed with me; I am delighted with him. We decided to make the journey to Blair as I have had some good success here – I won the CIC* and was second in the CCI*** 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 competitions”
The overall ERM series leader, Britain’s Gemma Tattersall, is lying seventh with Pamero 4, on a dressage score of 42.5.
You can watch the replay of the dressage on this link. Sir Mark’s test is just after the 4-hour mark, well worth a watch! http://eventridermasters.tv/watch
In the CIC3* Caroline Powell finished fourth on Up Up and Away, and sixth on On the Brash.
Sir Mark was seventh on McClaren. Caroline’s lead in the CCI1* disappeared when she added 20 jump penalties and a bunch of time faults on the cross-country. Sir Mark didn’t have any luck on Obos Colombos in the CCI3* either, with the big E beside their names, but we haven’t yet established why!