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Oxfordshire's Taylor is Untouchable
Oxfordshire rider 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 Izzy, 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 Izzy’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 Izzy 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.
Germany’s latest rising star, Julia Krajewski, rode a perfectly judged cross-country round on the nine-year-old Chipmunk FRH to retain her lead going into tomorrow’s final show jumping phase in the CCI***, 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.
US rider Kimberly Severson, who won here back in 2001 on Winsome Adante, remains in third on Cooley Cross Border, and Britain’s Laura Collett has risen from ninth place after dressage to fourth on the impressive Mr Bass.
“Chipmunk was a pleasure to ride,” said Julia, 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.”
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.