Top British rider takes the lead in Britain’s only CCI4*-L of 2020 *H&H Plus*

  • Find out who is at the head of affairs after dressage at Burnham Market today - and whose new rides are close behind

    Izzy Taylor is in the lead at the close of the dressage today (18 September) in the CCI4*-L at Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market, Norfolk with a score of 23.3 on her own and Mark Sartori’s Monkeying Around.

    The nine-year-old Bertoli gelding, winner of the six-year-old World Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in 2017, excels in this phase and produced a very attractive, accurate test.

    “He was fabulous,” said Izzy. “We know he’s good on the flat, but there is always more to come. Because he’s done quite a lot, it’s easy to forget he’s only nine.”

    Competition at Britain’s only long-format four-star event in 2020 is hot; Piggy French is in second and third place on two rides that are new to her this year, Dargun and Fonbherna Lancer. Dargun, owned by Jane del Missier, was formerly ridden by Emily King and appears to have quickly formed a partnership with his new jockey, with whom he scored 26.2 at Burnham Market.

    “He was really cute,” said Piggy. “I thought he clicked in, was relaxed and expressive and put in a ‘clear round’, so I did wonder whether he would get a few more marks than he did.”

    The Lancer Stud’s striking grey Fonbherna Lancer, winner of the CCI4*-S at Millstreet last year when with Izzy Taylor, also received a mark of 26.2.

    “He’s obviously beautiful and very eye-catching,” said Piggy. “His brain was really with me and he tried hard. I’m still learning so much about him from every run; it’s only at competitions that I can figure out things I can improve or do differently.”

    JL Dublin, owned by Deidre Johnston and Jo and James Lambert, delivered his rider Nicola Wilson a smart, solid performance for 26.3 and fourth place at his first CCI4*-L, with Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon in fifth with 26.9 aboard Chequers Play The Game, her ride at the 2017 Strzegom European Championships.

    Sarah Bullimore is in sixth on Corouet (27.2), while Nicola Wilson and Bulana – the pre-competition favourites with Irish statistics company EquiRatings – are seventh with 27.3, just 0.3 of a penalty ahead of William Fox-Pitt and Grafennacht.

    The Burnham Market organising team have reconfigured the cross-country course to allow for the additional distance required for the venue’s first CCI4*-L, and the track runs from the dressage field downhill through the main arena before heading back up on to the usual hill around which Burnham Market’s courses are normally centred.

    The long-format cross-country starts at 11.45am after the CCI4*-S showjumping has concluded.

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