Sarah Bullimore stormed into the lead in the feature 126-strong CCI4*-S class at Hambro Sport Horses Burgham International Horse Trials (28 July-1 August), scoring a Burgham record mark of 19.6 to overtake Izzy Taylor and Monkeying Around (22.3).
Sarah was riding her own and husband Brett’s 10-year-old Corouet, a homebred son of Balou Du Rouet out of Sarah’s British championship squad partner Lilly Corinne. It was the first time she has scored sub-20 at international level, and it was one of the best-marked tests on British soil since 2008, as pointed out by the Irish statistics company EquiRatings.
“Finally!” said Sarah. “He’s been so close and promised so much, but he is an opinionated little person and usually there is a point [during the test] when he tries to take over. But he was fabulous today – so rideable and ‘with’ me. He totally deserved that mark, and the lovely thing is that there is still more to come.”
The two Howard Russell Construction Ltd CCI3*-S sections were won by Georgie Spence and Gemma Tattersall.
Georgie added nothing to her dressage score of 29.1 to take section A on Nicky Cooper, Lucy Fleming and Toby Goss’s Fanta Boy.
The 11-year-old is a new ride for Wiltshire-based Georgie this season, and she said: “We got him in March, so it’s been a bit of a whirlwind ride, but he’s phenomenal.
“He’s very different to what I am used to – a bigger mover and a much flashier, fancier horse, so it’s been about getting used to that, but from day one he’s been great. He was faultless here, and was a complete machine across country. It’s nice to lead from the front – normally I’m the one who needs a really tough cross-country track to pull up the order!”
Gemma Tattersall rode nine-year-old Flash Cooley, who is owned by Pru Dawes, to capture section B.
Gemma, who has made the long trip from West Sussex to compete at Burgham, said: “He’s a total little dude. He’s only about 15.2 but he’s got a really big stride, and he gave me a fantastic ride across country today. He was foot-perfect in the showjumping and did a beautiful dressage test. He was perfect in all three phases, so I couldn’t ask for much more.
“He has perfect manners and is a darling little horse, but when I’m on him he has plenty of go and is well up for it.”
Izzy Taylor has nine horses competing at Hambro Sport Horses Burgham this week, and as well as holding second, fourth and 16th positions after dressage in the CCI4*-S class, she is also in the lead in the Holme Dodsworth Metals CCI2*-S. Riding Jane Timmis’s SBH Big Wall, only a six-year-old, Izzy scored 23.4.
She said: “Everyone loves Bennie! I bought him from Oliver Townend, and he’s very exciting. He did a great test. He’s a little bit cheeky but highly talented.”
Izzy and Gemma Tattersall also share second place in this competitive section, both scoring 24.6 with Jaeger Master and Djakota EB respectively.
And Izzy is also at the head of affairs in the British Intermediate Championship – one of four national championship classes at Burgham this weekend – with a dressage mark of 30.6 on the 10-year-old Irish-bred mare Ringwood Madras, owned by Sarah van Vegchel.
“She came to me this season,” explained Izzy. “She’s a big, talented mare and a lot more ‘mine’ than she was – I’m finding the key to her and she is progressing very nicely.”
Gemma Tattersall is in pole position in the British Novice Championship after posting a dressage score of 28.1 on Johan-Some.
It’s “Super Saturday” at Hambro Sport Horses Burgham tomorrow, with all the showjumping and cross-country action in the CCI4*-S and British Open Championship classes.
Tickets for Hambro Sport Horses Burgham must be purchased online up to 11.59pm the night before and are not available on the gate. For those unable to attend, the cross-country action on 31 July and 1 August will be shown on Horse & Country TV’s live-streaming platform, H&C+: https://app.horseandcountry.tv/browse-eventing
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Georgie Spence and Fanta Boy win Section A
Gemma Tattersall with Flash Cooley win Section B