Britain’s Izzy Taylor led the final leg of the 2017 Event Rider Masters (ERM) from start to finish. She secured her first ERM podium finish at the series finale held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Riding the eleven-year old gelding “Be Touchable”, Taylor maintained her overnight dressage lead, producing clear jumping rounds in both the showjumping and cross country. She added just 1.8 time penalties on the demanding cross country phase, finishing on a score of 36.9. Taylor continues a tremendous run of form, with this win being her remarkable eighth at FEI international level this season and a first in the ERM series.
Taylor, who is based locally at Bicester, and was tipped as a favourite to win this weekend described Be Touchable as a very good horse in all three phases and said she'd hoped he would finish in the top few.
"The hard work is really paying off this year and all the horses have really stepped it up," she said. "I have a great support team and owners, and it’s an exciting time. I’ve enjoyed the pressure of the ERM format and it feels great to win my first leg”.
Tim Price (NZL) secured his first podium place in the series finishing in second place, riding the nine-year Ascona M. Tim produced one of only two clear rounds inside the time cross country to finish on a score of 42.6. He added four penalties to his dressage score after knocking a rail in the show jumping.
“I am delighted with this result, Ascona M has really improved this year," said Tim Price following his first ERM podium place. "She is beginning to really know her job and understand the diversity of what’s required across the three phases. On the cross country she allows me to ride her in a good rhythm which helps me get close to the time.
“I look forward to having horses ready for the start of the series next year as it’s proven that you need to bring your A-game for every phase with the ERM format.”
The other rider to produce a penalty free cross country round leading to a third place on the podium was Chris Burton (AUS). Riding Graf Liberty, who Chris also rode into second place at Leg 6 at Blair Castle, he completed a masterclass of cross country riding to finish on a final score of 43.4.
“Isn't it fun - what great competition ERM is, and what a thing for the sport. The cross country caused more trouble than we thought it would - I'm gutted for my mate Shane," said Chris Burton. "I thought we might have another Aussie 1-2 on the podium, which would have been fun but that's the thing about this sportand inERM the reverse order reallydoes put the pressure on."
All the action from the series finale can be viewed again at eventridermasters.tv. A highlights programme will be aired across global TV channels next week, including Sky Sports Action in the UK on Thursday 21st September at 6pm.
The Event Rider Masters will continue to grow in 2018, with details of Legs and countries to be announced soon.
Photos: Event Rider Masters