Kra­jew­ski and Chip­munk prove im­pe­ri­ous as they set new record

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - EQUESTRIAN - Email: lee.sobot@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @LeeSobotYEP Lee Sobot AT BRAMHAM

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.

PICTURES: JAMES HARDISTY

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.

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