Britain's Gemma Tattersall takes ex-racehorse Arctic Soul to win Gatcombe's ERM
Great Britain’s Gemma Tattersall stamped her dominance on the 2017 Event Rider Master series by winning last weekend's fifth leg at Gatcombe Park Festival of British Eventing.
Riding the Soul Syndicate’s former racehorse, Arctic Soul, Tattersall produced a masterclass, with a very quick cross country round - earning her the lowest number of time penalties of all the entries.
She jumped clear and added just 1.2 time penalties to finish on a winning score of 53.7.
Arctic Soul’s former career on the racecourse was obvious as he ate up the challenging terrain on the cross country, with a time that rocketed the pair from eleventh place after the show jumping to victory.
Tattersall also defied the ERM statistics and became the first competitor to sit outside of the top five after the dressage stage to then go on and win. It was noted that the two riders with the best dressage scores - Australia's Bill Levett and Britain's Oliver Townend - were both eliminated during the cross country.
An ecstatic Gemma Tattersall was 'over the moon' with Arctic Soul's performance: “I thought the two rails we had [down] in the show jumping was going to cost us the win, but Arctic Soul gave me the ride of my life around here today."
"I think he is the best cross country horse in the world. It doesn’t matter what the terrain is, he suits any track, he is so versatile and just fabulous”.
Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal riding Balham Mist secured his first podium finish in second place - completing on a score of 55.4. Great Britain also filled the third place with Alexander Bragg riding Zagreb - finishing on a score of 56 penalties.
Minal-based New Zealander Tim Price riding Xavier Faer retired during the cross country.
The ERM series moves onto Scotland for the penultimate leg of this year's series to the Blair Castle Equi-Trek Internaitonal Horse Trials - 26 & 27 August.
The FEI's world rankings updated to the end of July put Sir Mark Todd in third place and Andrew Nicholson in sixth. Jonelle Price, who has not competed this year as she is pregnant, has kept her place at 13 with husband Tim at 15.
Gemma Tattersall is in eighteenth place - but that will change if she keeps her lead in the ERM series. At the moment she is 13 ERM points ahead.