Britain’s Sarah “Cutty” Cohen scored her first Event Rider Masters (ERM) win when she took the first leg of the series ever to run in Continental Europe, at Wiesbaden, Germany, last week (2-3 June).

Sarah and Preci-Spark Ltd’s 15-year-old Treason, by Hand In Glove, were fifth after dressage, but rose to third with a clear showjumping. They then put in a speedy cross-country round for 3.6 time-penalties — the fastest round of the day in the final reckoning — which allowed them to overhaul Italy’s Stefano Brecciaroli and his experienced campaigner Apollo Van De Wendi Kurt Hoeve, who were second after showjumping but had 15.6 time-faults.

It looked like Sarah would settle for the runner-up spot as everyone expected German leader Ingrid Klimke to hold her lead with SAP Escada FRH. But in the very final throes of the course the 2013 European individual silver medallist glanced off a fence in the main arena, leaving Sarah in pole position and the surprised winner of the €19,000 (£16,000) first prize.

“I wanted to be competitive but never thought I would win,” she said. “I knew Treason was fit and he just wanted to gallop and jump today. He is my only horse and we have a great partnership as we have been together 11 years. I am over the moon with him.”

After sixth place at Chatsworth, Sarah now has a commanding lead on the overall ERM leaderboard with 51 points. She is 14 points ahead of Brazil’s Marcio Carvalho Jorge, who took eighth here on Coronel MCJ and sits in second in the overall listings.

Germany’s rising star Julia Krajewski was second after dressage on Chipmunk FRH, who at nine was considerably less experienced than many horses in the field, but dropped to fifth with three showjumps down. However, a fast cross-country round propelled her back up the rankings to take the runner-up spot in the final reckoning.

“It’s very exciting to be competing in the Event Rider Masters,” she said. “In my last five starts at Wiesbaden I’ve finished second and although I am not on top of the podium this is a very good result. I was disappointed with our showjumping, but Chipmunk FRH certainly made it up on the cross-country today.”

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Sara Algotsson Ostholt and her partner on multiple Swedish teams, Reality 39, collected third place after finishing three penalties over the time in the showjumping and collecting 10.8 time-penalties across country.

“It has been a fantastic competition this weekend,” she said. “I was pleased with our showjumping, but I felt the cross-country wouldn’t suit Reality 39 with the twists and turns as he is a big horse, but he responded very well to the challenge and was superb today.”

The next leg of the Event Rider Masters is at Barbury (8-9 July).

Full report from Wiesbaden in H&H this week, out Thursday, 8 June.