“I’m very pleased,” said Izzy. “He loves, loves an atmosphere and is very excited to be at Blenheim – he was a lunatic yesterday at the trot-up, so I’m very pleased that he was expressive, but kept enough of the lid on it that it wasn’t too exciting.”
The 12-year-old Springpower, by Power Blade, belongs to Andrea and Jeremy Brereton and Linda Mars. He spent the 2020 season with Sarah “Cutty” Cohen, before returning to Izzy – who rode him in the latter half of 2017, 2018 and 2019 – for this year.
Izzy said: “He’s very cool – he’s a little bit like a pony cross-country, you can just rag him around and he’s got his ears pricked, he’s happy to be doing what he’s doing, which is great. Sometimes he thinks it’s better to be more more expressive than is needed in the dressage, but cross-country is his favourite part.”
Izzy talked about the riders delight in returning to Blenheim, which is being run by The Jockey Club for the first time after being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19: “We missed these exciting events. It’s great to be back at an established event and very exciting to have The Jockey Club on board. I think all of us eventers are really excited for what the future might hold and how the sport, hopefully, will progress in a more professional way.”
Ros Canter sits second in the Blenheim Horse Trials dressage for the CCI4*-L with Christopher Makin’s 10-year-old Rehy Royal Diamond, on a mark of 28.7.
“I’m over the moon with him – he’s quite a hot headed horse and a bit of a joker so takes quite a lot of work, but I think that was probably the most I’ve ever had him in a test. There were still a couple of mistakes, but his basic work was so much easier in there today,” said Ros.
“He stayed with me pretty much the whole way through – we had a little jog in the walk, but that’s a lot better than it can be.”
Alex Bragg holds third at this early stage on Philip and Sally Ellicott’s experienced 17-year-old Zagreb, who scored 29.
“He’s an old pro and we’ve protected him a bit this year, because there was nothing really to aim for for him,” he said. “So we didn’t do anything in the spring, so coming to this event, it feels like this is the first bit of the season for us and he is still fresh.
“But I want him to be like that, because he is a little bit older now and I’d rather he come out and I said, ‘Oh, he was a little bit too enthusiastic’ than I felt like he wasn’t enjoying himself. The horse feels fantastic and I’m really looking forward to having a proper competition to do on him.”
Alex said the test had “a few little wobbles”, which he put down to lack of match practice for both horse and rider.
He explained: “We could have been a percent higher, if we ironed them out. He’s a little bit hot coming out the walk, anticipating going into the canter, and he was the same today – he jumped into the canter and then it made the corner a little bit tricky before the extended canter. But like I say, it’s nice that he’s enthusiastic and wanting to do it rather than the other way.
“He doesn’t owe us anything. The Ellicotts have been amazing owners and supporters and it’s just nice to have him back out.”
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