Shane Rose and Chris Burton became the first Australians to finish on the Event Rider Masters (ERM) podium when they scored a one-two in the ERM at the Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials.

Shane moved up to third by showjumping clear this morning on his own and Michelle Hasibar’s Virgil II and then took top spot by finishing cross-country with just 2.8 time-faults.

“Chris and I walked the course together and felt the ground was worst from fences two to five. He was really clagged [tired] at fence four, but once he was in the gravel in the woods he travelled well and except for fence four — which was a bit wild — that’s as good a ride as I’ve had on him,” said Shane.

Chris had the fastest round — just two seconds over the optimum time — to take second on the syndicate-owned Graf Liberty.

“He’s always been a very competitive horse and the highlight is his cross-country,” said Chris. “Shane didn’t have the best start in Britain this year [he lost his father and had Shanghai Joe put down after he was injured at Badminton] and now he’s heading home, so I’m so happy for him — it couldn’t have gone better in my opinion.”

Oliver Townend took third on Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class, just ahead of fellow Brit Gemma Tattersall, whose fourth place here on Clive Smith’s Pamero 4 secured her the series title ahead of the final leg at Blenheim.

“It’s an incredible feeling to have it wrapped up here — I can go to Blenheim and really enjoy it riding one my favourite horses, Chico Bella P,” said Gemma.

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This morning’s showjumping shook up the leaderboard, with all the top three after dressage leaving the podium.

The leader, Germany’s Niklas Bschorer (Tom Tom Go 3), had the Land Rover oxer at fence two down as well as a later upright, plus three time-faults, to drop to eighth (he finished 14th with 26 time-faults across country), while Mark Todd’s three down and two time-penalties sent him and Kiltubrid Rhapsody plummeting from second to 16th.

“He’s usually a very good jumper, but he’s better on firmer ground where he can spring off it as he’s a big horse and slow in his action,” said Mark, who then withdrew.

Franky Reid-Warrilow led going into the cross-country after a showjumping clear and finished sixth with Dolley Whisper after clocking up 16.4 time-faults.

Full report from Blair in H&H next week (issue dated 31 August).