Taylor adds perfect finish to stellar year
Perfect Stranger scores his fourth victory this season, and there’s a poignant win for a former young rider champion
IZZY TAYLOR recorded her
32nd win of the season in the sole advanced section, riding Alex Phillips’ super-consistent 15-yearold, Perfect Stranger (Orange). She posted the fastest crosscountry round of the day to add four time-faults to a 31.1 dressage.
“Orange was a bit stiff in the dressage as he had spent about six hours on the lorry after travelling from his owners’ in Moreton-in-Marsh, where he lives, to mine before arriving here,” explained Izzy.
“He’s very experienced and although I didn’t run the legs off him, I ride better fast across country,” said Izzy, who despite the win was disappointed on discovering she wasn’t qualified to take this horse to the four-star at Pau in a couple of weeks.
“Pau was the plan and I hoped he would be competitive there, but as I’m classed as a category B rider by the FEI, we needed one more CIC3* qualifying run to go to Pau,” explained Izzy, who in August won the CCI3* at Millstreet on Orange, and has also recorded a win in the CIC3* at Kilguilkey and a third in the CIC3* at Camphire this season.
“He was fit and ready for Pau, so we decided to run here. He’s an older horse so he will dictate to us what he wants to do next year.”
Orange’s former rider, Andrew Nicholson, was second riding Deborah Sellars’ 10-year-old Jet Set IV. They added 8.4 time-faults to a 29.7 dressage to finish three penalties behind Izzy.
Eighteen-year-old Bubby Upton continued a great run of form to finish third in her second advanced on the experienced Fernhill Rock Star (Ricky).
“Ricky has the biggest heart and is amazing cross-country; it’s like he already knows where he’s going,” said Bubby, the reigning European junior champion, who won her first advanced on this horse at Allerton a couple of weeks ago. “We run him carefully as he’s an older horse  and we don’t know how many events he’s got left in him, so I just make sure I enjoy each one.”
ONE LAST HURRAH
WILL FURLONG won what might be his last event with his former European young rider gold medal-winning horse, Livingstone II, when taking the open intermediate, as the 14-year-old is likely to be put up for sale. The pair finished on their dressage of 30.
“It’s sad but his recent threestar form with me has been patchy. As he’s had a couple of lighter years run-wise, he’s still got plenty more in him to go and win another junior or young rider a medal,” explained 22-year-old Will. “He could have gone round with his eyes closed today as he’s so established at intermediate level. We’ve had braking issues in the past but swapping from a Swales Pelham to a Hanoverian Pelham has stopped him from locking his jaw and now he isn’t strong at all.”
New Zealander Caroline
Powell was second with Cameron Crawford’s Up Up And Away, finishing on their dressage of 31.1.
Sam Ecroyd led from start to finish in the open intermediate under-21 section, riding Jane Del Missier’s Cooley Currency. They added 0.8 too-fast time-faults to a dressage of 28.2.
“We re-routed from Ballindenisk CIC3* as it was just too wet there, so this was only my third proper event with him,” said Sam of the nine-year-old that he has taken over from Emily King with a view to sell.
“He’s a bit beyond intermediate level now, but he thinks too much, which hasn’t been ideal in the past, although he’s getting better — he’s a big talent, it’s just a question of knitting it all together,” explained Sam.
Second place went to Constance Copestake, who has just returned from a six-month training stint with fellow French rider Tom Carlile. Constance added nothing to a dressage of 30.7 riding her eight-year-old El Kolibri.
Brazil’s Carlos Parro and an exciting six-year-old, Goliath
III, won intermediate section P, finishing on their 30.5 dressage.
“I didn’t come to win here as he’s off to the World Championships [for young event horses] at Le Lion D’Angers in a couple of weeks,” explained
Carlos, who bought this horse for owners Emtec Laboratories as a four-year-old. “He seems to have grown out of being too careful across country and he’s got everything to be a top horse.”
Melissa Joannides was second, just 0.6 of a penalty behind Carlos, riding Skip To The Beat.
Izzy Taylor and Perfect Stranger speed to the fastest time and victory in the advanced
‘He has everything to be a top horse’: six-year-old Goliath III claims an intermediate for Carlos Parro