Eventing, british duel in Jardy for the Riders Event Master
A British head to head at the summit of what is amongst the last legs of the 2018 Event Rider Masters as Alexander Bragg/Zagreb and Izzy Taylor/Be Touchable, in first and third places after the dressage, both jumped clear rounds this morning in the show-jumping and thus remained at the top with just the cross-country to come. Behind them, New Zealand’s Tim Price and Great Britain’s Gemma Tattersall respectively n°4 and n° 3 on the World rankings list found themselves placed 3rd and 4th following the show-jumping having also jumped clear. A common objective for all the athletes, victory in the ultimate test and walk away with the largest share of the 50,000 euros of prize money.
The specific Event Masters rule that sends riders out onto the cross-country in reverse order of the provisional placings, allows the public to get caught up in the excitement with the suspense climbing throughout this final test, indeed it wasn’t until the very last moment that the final result of this amazing weekend of sport was known. 1st after the dressage, still 1st after the show-jumping, Britain’s Alexander Bragg really had the pressure on him at the start line. He had just 6:08 minutes to complete the twisty 3,495m long course designed by Pierre Michelet and had no room for error.Just before him, Tim Price, the New Zealand champion, rode clear and was ready to seize the crown. Setting off right the start at a strong pace, the pair didn’t slow the cadence throughout the 40 jumping effort long course, and cleared without problem the major difficulties on the round such as the “Grand Gué” at n°7 or the “Escargot du Gué Rond”, which eliminated France’s Jean-Lou Bigot and Matthieu Vanlandeghem from the competition. Extremely fast, the pair crossed the finishing line stopping the clock at 6:00 minutes, thus offering himself the biggest win of his career. “I’m ecstatic, it’s an amazing feeling to finish in front of Gemma, Tim or Izzy, the best in the World! I’m so proud of Zagreb, I didn’t let up on him throughout the cross country I galloped like madman, I still can’t believe that I was faster than the others. To be the leader after the first two tests inverted the balance: For the first time I didn’t need to gain places but rather not lose one, it was stressful! After a complicated start to the season with Zagreb, we had quite a lot to prove and today he showed all his power and experience. It was a victory for the two of us, and here at Jardy it’sfantastic. The public was incredible!” confided the rider who is ranked at 56 in the World with a smile on his face at the press conference.
His team mate Izzy Taylor, with a time of 06:10 and 0.8 penalties dropped to third place: “I’m delighted with my weekend and my horse, he’s exceptional. Those two extra seconds were expensive but that’s the sport. I’m already impatient for the next competition! “. Finishing in 06:04, Tim Price slipped in between the two. Holding the reins of Wesko who is coming back into top form after 2 years away from the sport, the Kiwi strengthened his spot on the circuit.“We’re back! I really had fun all week-end, to have Wesko back at my side and in such great form, it’sreally exciting. It’s like the return of an old friend”. Currently 3rd behind Christopher Burton (AUS), and Laura Collett (GBR) following this ERM 5th leg, the rider will be throwing all his cards onto the table at the Blair Castle final at the end of August before heading off to the World Equestrian Games at Tryon. Gemma Tattersall, 4th on Chico Bella P, was followed by Australia’s William Levett who rode Shannondale Titan. Karim Laghouag, the top placed French rider after yesterday ’s dressage with a superb 2nd place on Entebbe de Hus, had 8 faults this morning in the show-jumping and dropped to 12th after the cross-country taking 3.2 time penalties (06:16). The best French performancewas that of Maxime Livio/Qualao des Mers who, after a clear in both the show-jumping and cross-country, climbed to 7th.Out of the 37 pairs who started the cross-country, only 8 managed to go fast enough and 4 were eliminated following falls including France’s Gwendolen Fer or Danish Cecilie Ericksen, 2 gave up.Identical course of events in the 3*CIC which played out following the Event Rider Masters. Out to make his luck change, the crowds’ favourite Karim Laghouag, pairing Triton Fontaine, masterly finished his cross-country and finished on top. He was followed by Marie-Charlotte Fuss/Anabolia also riding for France and the hero of the day Alexander Bragg/Shannondale Percy.
Tomorrow, riders return for a last day of competition in the 1*CCI, 2*CIC, 1*CICYH and 1*CIC.
Source: Press Release Event Rider Master Jardy 2018Photo: courtesy Event Rider Master Jardy 2018 G2S Photographe