The combination performed a stunning test in front of the magnificent Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire to top the leaderboard after the first phase.
Taylor, who is an exceptional eventing showjumper, arrives at the final leg in red hot form on the back of an impressive seven FEI international wins across 2017. The favourite to top the podium tomorrow commented;
“Be Touchable was fantastic, he is a very exciting horse who has always had the potential and he delivered today. He is beautiful to look at, and he was really with me in the arena all the way through the test. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to tomorrow!”
Tight at the top for series podium positions
Featuring one of the strongest fields seen across the series, the dressage phase did not disappoint. The top eight competitors on the leaderboard all scored under forty penalties.
Shane Rose (AUS) and CP Qualified are just 0.1 of a mark behind the leader on a score of 35.8. This weekend Rose will be aiming for back to back ERM wins, after he topped the podium at leg 6 at Blair Castle last month.
Commenting on his intent to shake up the final series standings, Rose said;
“I am a competitive person, we came here to do well and I am going to try to do just that. At the start of the season we were just getting ready so had a slow start, but it’s now time to catch up. CP Qualified likes this type of ground and I think the cross country course will suit him tomorrow. He feels fit and ready to run”.
China’s Alex Hua-Tian, riding Don Geniro, is another combination to previously win an ERM leg. The popular partnership lies in third place, scoring 36.4.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am with Don Geniro. We have had a cold season with him, he has so much potential but has been frustrating. Today was the first time this year that I started the dressage with Don and thought we are on and I felt I could ride him through the test, rather than defensively. I am delighted”.
Also challenging for a place on the overall series podium is the 2016 ERM champion Oliver Townend (GBR), who sits in fourth place with Cooley Master Class on a score of 38.3. Tim Price (NZL) and Ascona M is in fifth scoring 38.6, with Sir Mark Todd, currently third in the series, and Kiltubrid Rhapsody in fourteenth on a score of 43.6.
Sarah Cohen (GBR) and Treason, who can finish no worse than third in the overall series, lies in fifteenth on a score of 43.8.
There are just over ten marks separating the top twenty placings after dressage ahead of the jumping phases tomorrow. The scene is set for a fascinating culmination to the final leg of the 2017 Event Rider Masters.
To watch the live the stream of all the action: eventridermasters.tv