Britain’s Alex Bragg scored the biggest triumph of his career when he took home the €18,000 cheque for winning the Event Rider Masters at Jardy, France at the weekend (14-15 July).
Riding Sally Ellicott’s Zagreb, Alex kicked off his campaign with a personal best in the dressage to score 23.6.
“Zagreb is feeling great after his summer break,” said Alex after his test. “Things didn’t quite go to plan in the spring but the surface here gave him a great chance to express himself. He’s a really genuine jumper and he’s feeling amazing so I’ll keep pressing the buttons and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Sunday also went to plan for Alex when he put in a clear in the showjumping and stormed through the finish flags inside the cross-country time to stay on his dressage score.
“I am over the moon. I was riding a bit like a demon out there, I really, really wanted it. I can’t believe I was faster than Izzy [Taylor] and Gemma [Tattersall], they are absolute speed queens. Tim [Price] is a bit more laid back so I expected to be speedier than him!” said Alex.
New Zealand’s Tim Price also finished on his first-phase mark to move up from fourth after dressage to land second on Wesko, who has been away from the competitive fray for two years.
Tim said: “I’ll take that! I was saying to Billy [Levett], I don’t think I’ve had another one like him, it’s so much fun having him back. You don’t know until you know when you bring a horse like him back out at the top levels, but I guess now I know. It all came flooding back out there — he is just so much fun.”
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Izzy Taylor took third for Britain on Bramham CIC3* winner Be Touchable, with Gemma Tattersall making it three Brits in the top four with fourth place on Chico Bella P.
“What an amazing mare she is — she’s such a careful horse who wants to do it for us. She loves the big occasions and she’s having the best week,” said Gemma after her clear showjumping round.
The final leg of the ERM series is at Blair Castle, in Scotland (25-26 August). Australia’s Chris Burton leads the series, with Britain’s Laura Collett second and Tim Price third.
Full report from Jardy in this week’s H&H magazine (dated 19 July).