Event reports sponsored by Elite Horse Owners
Sarah Carless reports..
Tattersall storms to ERM victory at Gatcombe
Gemma Tattersall delivered a masterful performance to storm to victory in the fifth leg of the Event Rider Masters.
Riding the Soul Syndicate’s Arctic Soul, Tattersall produced a masterclass with a very quick cross country round to take victory at The Festival of British Eventing, and in doing so also became British Open Champion for the first time.
It was 2016 series winner Oliver Townend who put himself in contention to repeat last year’s victory at the Gloucestershire event by leading after the dressage with Note Worthy. He was one of only two riders to secure a dressage score in the 30s, with of 38.7. Australia’s Bill Levett riding Shannondale Titan was the other rider to achieve a sub-30 mark to lie in second on 39.2.
The show jumping once again proved to be highly influential, and led to a shakeup of the leaderboard, with only three clear rounds. Brazil’s Marcio Carvalho Jorge came out on top jumping a brilliant clear round with Lissy Mac Wayer, adding just one-time fault to his dressage score. Alexander Bragg on board Zagreb was one of the three clear rounds – the others being Ludwig Svennerstal and Balham Mist and Caroline March with Postmaster – moving him into second with Mark Todd and Kiltubrid Rhapsody moving up to third.
Overnight leader Townend and Note Worthy slipped down the order to fifth after knocking down two rails, and Tattersall thought herself to be out of contention when she had two rails down to lie in 11th.
But the pairs performance on the cross country shot them up the leaderboard as Tattersall and the former race horse jumped clear and added just 1.2 time penalties to finish on a winning score of 53.7. Arctic Soul’s former career on the racecourse was obvious as he ate up the challenging terrain, posting the quickest round of the day.
An ecstatic Tattersall said: “I am over the moon. I thought the two rails we had in the show jumping was going to cost us the win, but Arctic Soul gave me the ride of my life. I think he is the best cross country horse in the world. I put on my brave pants today and we saw every fence right and every stride. I’ve never been so fast in my life. It doesn’t matter what the terrain is, he suits any track, he is so versatile and just fabulous. Gatcombe is such a special event. It’s the home of British eventing and I’ve been wanting to win the national title ever since I finished third in 2010 and it really fired me up.”
Sweden’s Svennerstal finished in second having been seventh before the cross country with Bragg
Tattersall now has a commanding lead in the series with 104 points, 13 ahead of Sarah Cohen, who had another top placing with Treason finishing fifth. Mark Todd, who finished fourth at Gatcombe, lies in third with 69 points.
The next leg of the Event Rider Masters takes place at Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials (26-27 August).