Krajewski and Chipmunk prove imperious as they set new record
MODEST Julia Krajewski said she drove to the 2018 Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse trials from Germany merely to “have fun with my horse”, but scurried to victory in the flagship event with a record score on Chipmunk.
Rio 2016 Olympics team eventing silver medallist Krajewski stunned the crowds on the first day of Bramham 2018 by producing a superb CCI threestar dressage test, which earned an eye-watering score of 19.4 – a world record under the new dressage scoring system.
This score gave the chasing pack a mountain to climb even before Krajewski and Chipmunk then brilliantly went double clear over both their cross country and showjumping tests inside the time.
Such was the pairing’s superiority, Chipmunk could have put two fences down in yesterday’s showjumping finale and still won, but in front of a packed crowd and under blue skies a clear round never looked in doubt.
New Zealand’s three-time Bramham winner Andrew Nicholson finished 8.6 points back in second on Swallow Springs with Australia’s Bill Levett third with 28.2 on Lassban Diamond Lift.
But in truth it was a case of Krajewski first and the rest nowhere with the German rider showing great modesty after a performance that put her in the Bramham record books.
“Winning on 19.4 in a threestar long one is pretty cool, but I am just very, very happy with how the horse went this week,” 29-year-old Krajewski told The Yorkshire Post.
“It’s quite a long trip coming over, 22 hours with a stop included, but there is still so much that can go wrong in one week. To get it all right and finish on such a dressage score with a fit and happy horse is just really, really cool.
“This is probably one result that I will remember for quite a long time.
“If the going gets tough you will think, ‘okay, this is how the good times feel,’ and it keeps you going. I am very happy and very proud. I’m not chasing records, I actually came here to have a good time with my horse.”
Krajewski and Chipmunk’s score would have been 29.1 under the old scoring system, but that is still believed to be not only a Bramham record but a British Eventing record for winning a CCI three-star.
Kitty King ended up the highest placed Briton on 29.4 in fourth on Vendredi Biats as new MBE and nine-time Bramham winner William Fox Pitt dropped down to 11th on Oratorio II, finishing with 34.7 after putting two rails down in the showjumping finale.
Rising Harrogate star Hazel Towers fared best of the Yorkshire-based riders with Simply Smart and Simply Clover both clear over cross country to finish 28th and 35th respectively on 51.3 and 69.3. Simply Smart was also clear in her showjumping round.
Northallerton’s London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nicola Wilson retired One Two Many during their cross country test after problems at the water jump in which only brilliance in the saddle saved Wilson from a dunking.
Folkton’s Phil Brown withdrew his mare Miss Brodie before the duo’s cross country test.
A win in Bramham’s flagship CCI three-star class continues to elude Britain’s world no 7 Izzy Taylor who again won the event’s supporting CIC three-star class on Saturday evening, for the second year in a row.
The event featured seven Yorkshire-based riders, all of whom did their county proud in completing Ian Stark’s cross country test, which caused 11 combinations to either be eliminated or retired.
But there were no such problems for Taylor and Be Touchable who edged out French rider Gwendolen Fer and Romantic Love courtesy of being one second quicker over cross country. Taylor and Fer finished on the same score of 28.5, but Taylor took the title thanks to her clear cross country round with Fer picking up a crucial 0.4 time penalties for being one second over the time. Japan’s Toshiyuki Tanaka finished third on Talma D Allou with 30.7.
“To finish on the same score with one second dividing us – I didn’t know I had won until the media guys told me,” laughed Taylor. “A win is a win and I am grateful for that.”
Grafton’s James Sommerville finished best of the Yorkshire riders in 12th after a clear cross country round with 3.2 time penalties on Altaskin Jack to finish on 40.3. Sommerville also persevered to complete with Rapide Gii, who ended up 52nd on 94.4.
Womersley’s Sophie Platt also completed the event with two horses with Caesar II clear over cross country with 16.8 time penalties to finish on 61.3 in 25th as Be Be III also completed on 75.1 in 39th.
Richmond’s Katie Magee was another rider clear over cross country on Dollarney with the duo picking up 11.6 time penalties to finish in 18th on 48.4. Ripon’s Charlie Dennis and DHI Hot Chip placed 29th on 66.4 with York’s Nicola Rooke clear over cross country on Foreign Encounter, picking up 17.2 time penalties to finish 35th on 71.7.
Richmond’s Storm Straker completed her first Bramham with the 19-year-old rider 37th on Well Designed on 74.5.
Northallerton’s Wilson would have been well set for victory on star mare Bulana, who led after dressage and showjumping, but the rider withdrew Bulana as expected with the 12-year-old heading for the CCI four-star at Luhmuhlen this week.
But Bramham 2018 belonged to Krajewski, Chipmunk and ultimately Germany’s Deutschlandlied anthem was boomed out in front of packed stands during the prize giving.
Australian Levett admitted: “The Germans are so technically good that you have got to find a weak link or try.
“We can compete against them, but they never used to be top at cross country.
“Now they are the leading nation really at times.
“It’s hard to get in front of the best Germans – a bit like the World Cup.”
If the going gets tough you will think, ‘this is how the good times feel’. Julia Krajewski, on the value of her victory at Bramham aboard Chipmunk.
SMILES AHEAD: Equi-Trek Bramham International CCI three-star winner Julia Krajewski, from Germany, acknowledges the crowd’s applause. Above left, Emma Hyslop-Webb, on Waldo III, tackles a fence and, above right, William Fox-Pitt applies the brakes on Luxury FH.