Hoy remains in command as ERM finale gets underway

Sarah Carless reports ..

Germany’s Bettina Hoy rode a blistering cross-country round in the worst of the weather at Blenheim


Palace International Horse Trials to hold on to her dressage lead in the CCI3*.
Riding Seigneur Medicott, owned by Gerd-Hermann Horst, the German former European champion picked up 8.4 time-faults to add to her dressage mark of 32.9.

She said: “He was really fantastic. He gave me a wonderful ride; he’s just a little bit green still and would like to take a second to look at each fence, but you just can’t – you have to keep going.”

Bettina is on a score of 41.3, which gives her a show jump in hand tomorrow over second-placed Hannah Sue Burnett, who rode a terrific round for the USA on Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot and ends the day on 46.9. Harry Meade had been in second after dressage on Orlando but retired on cross country.

The best British rider is is Lydia Hannon, third on Mr and Mrs Christopher Harris’ My Royal Touch with a score of 48.5. Lydia picked up just 3.2 time-faults – the third-fastest round of the day.

Lydia was thrilled to find herself so far up the order, and said: “She’s a superstar. She was a really good girl. We did a good dressage test for her, and I didn’t want to waste it and knew I post a good time on the cross-country. I walked the course with Nigel Taylor, who told me to kick on and go straight!”

The time was influential and none of the riders came home under the optimum time. Quickest of all were the first combination of the class, Andrew Nicholson and his own and Philip Channer’s Teseo, who came home just one second over the time and are in fifth on 48.9 – just behind Oliver Townend and Peter John Windus’ Dunbeau, who were second-fastest with two time-faults and slot into fourth place on 48.8.

Britain’s Tom McEwan has taken the lead in the CIC3* class with Toledo De Kerser after his clear round in the show jumping.
Tom said: “I’m really looking forward to riding him tomorrow. He’s an incredible horse and I’m very lucky to have him. He should deal with the course really well. The ground is fantastic — where it’s been jumped today they’ve done good work patching it up. He’s a good galloper and he enjoys the rain – he wouldn’t even mind some more, but we’re not going to get it.”
Dressage leader Jonelle Price, who has won the past two runnings of this class, dropped to second after picking up three time-faults Ascona M. She is one penalty behind Tom. The scores at the top are extremely close with Willa Newton in third on Caja 20. The top ten is dominated by British with Laura Collett having two horses in close contention.
The finale of the Event Rider Masters also got underway with the dressage. The leader is winner of the first leg and Olympic medalist Astier Nicolas and Molakai (41.3).
“I’m very pleased with Molokai – this is his best mark,” said Astier. “I had to get the physio to look at the horse this morning, so it shows how genuine he is. But he has only jumped one clear show jumping round this year so, although there’s room for hope, the statistics are against me and it’s very competitive at the top.”
Jonelle Price, one of four riders in contention to win the series, is in joint second place with Cloud Dancer II on 41.7, along with Thomas Carlile and Upsilon. Jock Paget, riding Clifton Signature, is fourth, on 41.9, ahead of Australians Andrew Hoy (Cheeky Calimbo) and Shane Rose (CP Qualified) plus best British rider Nicola Wilson (One Two Many), who are all tied in fifth place on 43.6.
The other contenders for the title are Paul Tapner (9th after dressage on Yogi Bear VIII), Oliver Townend (10th after dressage on dual series winner Cillnabraddon Evo) and Gemma Tattersall (14th after dressage on Chico Bella P).
Photographs courtesy of Lorraine Porter


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