Taylor still on top at Burnham Market *H&H Plus*

  • Find out how Izzy Taylor stayed in the lead in Britain’s only CCI4*-L of the 2020 eventing season – and who withdrew both her top-placed rides

    Izzy Taylor maintained the lead she had established after dressage with a clear cross-country round on Monkeying Around in the CCI4*-L at Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market.

    She came home six seconds under the time allowed of 10 minutes on her own and Mark Sartori’s nine-year-old, adding nothing to her dressage mark of 23.2. This gives her an advantage of 3.1 penalties over second-placed Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin going into showjumping.

    Izzy, who is also in pole position in the CCI4*-S class, said: “He was very good – at the first proper combination in the main arena he was on it, and was good all the way from there. It didn’t feel like he completely read the final water complex and so we added a stride there to be safe, but he felt confident, had his ears pricked and enjoyed the job. I’m very pleased with how he coped today.”

    Piggy March, second and third after dressage on Dargun and Fonbherna Lancer, withdrew them both, meaning that when Nicola Wilson went clear inside the time across country on Deidre Johnston and Jo and James Lambert’s JL Dublin, she took second place.

    Nicola said: “JL Dublin is a young horse and this is his first long-format four-star. He’s quite a dude and I think a great deal of him. He had a very nice run round; when we turned for the last water he broke into trot – I think he thought he had finished – which took me a bit by surprise, but he has lots of power and lots of jump, so I thought, ‘ok, we’ll just hunt through this water’, which is what we did. The rest of the course was super and I loved the feel he gave me through the quarry.

    “At the beginning of the week the team here said they would get the ground right by cross-country day, and I really think they did. It rode well with both my two horses and the same with both horses, and I think we should give credit where credit is due. I’m just pleased and grateful that we’ve got a run.”

    Nicola is also in fifth with Bulana, and said: “Bulana is obviously experienced at this level, but with me being injured last year and not doing very much, it was just fantastic to do a long-format event and have a lovely run round a course like this. I was delighted with her; she gave me a lovely feel from start to finish.”

    Vittoria Panizzon lies in third place with Flora Hurrell, Patricia and Amy Lambert and Peter and Jan Price’s Chequers Play The Game, for whom this was a first run since Oasby in March – and only his second since finishing ninth in the CCI5* at Luhmuhlen in 2018.

    “This was a carefully thought-out plan and the only horse I’d trust to do this with,” said Vittoria, who also finished on her dressage score of 26.9. “He’s probably my favourite horse to ride across country – I did it nearly all by using my voice – and he was a complete star.”

    Sarah Bullimore and the little home-bred Corouet are fourth, and again added nothing to their dressage mark of 27.2.

    Sarah said: “He was amazing – he really made it feel so easy and was foot-perfect all the way. I was up on my minute-markers all the way round and he came back full of running and ready to go again. The ground actually felt good and it didn’t feel like he was hammering it at any stage.”

    Oliver Townend survived a hairy moment at fence 10 when Tregilder skewed in the air and nearly unshipped his jockey, but the pair put that behind them to complete Alec Lochore’s course on their dressage mark of 28.3 for sixth place at this stage. Tom Jackson and Billy Cuckoo lie seventh, with Yasmin Ingham (Sandman 7) and Bubby Upton (Cola III) in eighth and ninth. Ros Canter and Pencos Crown Jewel round out the top 10 going into showjumping.

    In total 36 horses from the 80 who started the cross-country made the time, and there were 59 jumping clears.

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