On a day that promised fierce competition from the get-go it was the Cross Country that proved to be the most influential phase of the weekend.
Putting in a stellar performance across all three phases, Australia’s Chris Burton sealed his 2018 Series and Leg wins with an effortless Cross Country clear round inside the time on the Graf Syndicate’s Graf Liberty.
Speaking of his Series win Chris said:
“This is a really special moment. I couldn’t be happier. There was a lot of pressure on me coming into this weekend, most of it I put on myself – and I was really worried I might do something silly like jump the wrong jump or something. I am thrilled for Graf Liberty’s owners and over the moon with the horse. I’ve watched the guys winning the ERM legs and thought to myself, Gee I’d love to win an ERM leg never mind the Series.”
Disappointing Show Jumping rounds for both Laura Collett & London 52 and Tim Price & Wesko this morning were followed by classy clear cross country rounds which meant that they both did enough to hold their places on the Series Leader Board and claim 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Speaking after his round Tim said:
“Wesko soaked it all up – the rain, the atmosphere and the jumps and gave it such a good go. It really is such fun to have him back and feeling so well – he makes it look so easy.”
Claiming their second podium finish of the 2018 ERM Series, Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo showed all of their class out on the Alec Lochore designed CIC3* course. Coming in just seconds over the 6min 54sec optimum time Oliver took 2nd place in the final Leg on 33.2 points.
“It’s nice in the current circumstances to be the best Brit again. I am thrilled for the horse and his owner Sally-Anne Egginton. He’s very special and dug deep all the way. After each jump he picked up, took a deep breath and kept on fighting. It is very special to come back and finish second in the final ERM Leg of 2018.” Oliver said.
Taking their run of International clear jumping rounds to and amazing 20 after this morning’s clear round over the coloured poles, Emily Philp and Camembert climbed a huge 12 places to finish in third place behind Oliver and Chris.
Speaking after her Cross Country, Emily said,
“I had an amazing ride. What a great horse. It hasn’t sunk in yet, it’s an absolute dream come true to be up here, especially with these two.”