Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England—Sept. 20
Isabelle “Izzy” Taylor lives just 10 minutes away from the SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials on the outskirts of Bicester, England, and she holds the lead in the CCI4*-L class after two days of dressage.
Taylor scored 22.7 riding her own and Mark Sartori’s 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Monkeying Around (Bertoli W—Donnee, Donnerhall).
“I’m very happy with him,” said Taylor, 35. “I’ve had him since he was a 4-year-old. It makes a massive difference when you can have them from the word ‘go.’ He’s young to be here, but we hope to be competitive and hope still to be on the same score tomorrow. Because I live so close, it means my children can come and watch, and it makes the event very special.”
Taylor has 2.7 penalties in hand over second-placed Piggy French, who scored 25.4 aboard Alison Swinburn and John and Chloe Perry’s 10-year-old Brookfield Inocent (Inocent—Shalies Pet, Kings Servant). Young British rider Will Rawlin, who was on top after the first day of dressage with a mark of 24.2 with VIP Vinnie, has withdrawn, as he didn’t feel the horse was 100 percent.
Top Japanese rider Kazuma Tomoto is in third with 25.7 on Brookpark Vikenti, while Australia’s Kevin McNab is a fraction of a penalty behind in fourth with 25.7 on Scuderia 1981 A Best Friend.
U.S. rider Buck Davidson completed his test aboard his second ride, the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Carlevo (Eurocommerce Caresino—Ramatuelle, Levernois). They sit 10th with a score of 27.2. Davidson’s first ride, Park Trader, dropped to 24th.
“We’ve got to keep him on this score, which will be a challenge,” said Davidson of Carlevo. “There’s always stuff you wish you did better, but I thought he was good. I’m proud of both horses. We’re lucky to be able to do this; I’ve had a couple of falls and things that were unfortunate this season, but in the big picture it’s nothing.”
British-based American Katherine Coleman and Monte Classico scored 29.1 to secure 23rd place. Lexi Scovil and Chico’s Man VDF Z are tied for 36th place, and Cornelia Dorr placed 44th with Sir Patico MH on a score of 33.1.
Rounding out the American contingent, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver tied for 29th with a score of 34.0 in the highly competitive CCI4*-S for 8-and-9-year-old horses.
French, who was the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (England) winner and part of Britain’s silver medal-winning team at the 2019 Longines FEI European Championships (Germany), is in the lead in the CCI4*-S for 8-and-9-year-old horses on Jayne McGivern’s 9-year-old Calling Card. The podium placings in this class remain unaltered from the first day of dressage: Sam Griffiths is second on Freestyler with a mark of 28.8, and Mary King is in third with King Robert II on 29.6.
French said of Calling Card: “He’s a really beautiful horse—he’s stunning. Bar his changes, which he’s still a bit green at, he’s very impressive on the flat. He was beautiful to ride in there. He is green—this will be his first advanced competition—so I’ve come into it just really interested to see how he goes and not really thinking that running flat out and getting the time will be what he’ll do this weekend. It’s more about the stepping stone.”
The SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials continues Sept. 21 with cross-country for the CCI4*-L class and show jumping for the CCI4*-S.
For full results, click here.