Tom Carlile has won the Event Rider Masters at St James’s Place Barbury Castle International Horse Trials for the second year running.

Hottest event yet

With temperatures soaring well into the 30s this was the hottest Event Rider Masters (ERM) event yet – in every sense of the word. Fewer than 20 combinations jumped clear around Mark Phillips’ cross-country course, while ‘Mr Stickability’ Andrew Nicholson parted company with Swallow Springs.

Despite the tough course and conditions, the defending champion remained cool throughout to take the title once again with Upsilon. The pair led from the off, adding just 0.4 time penalties to their dressage score of 24.5pen.

“I was good in there huh?” said Tom, who is French but has English parents. “I rode it just now like I’m meant to ride and it was good to put the ball back onto the pitch.

“He’s such a wonderful animal that the biggest danger is just us losing our concentration. After all we aren’t robots and blips happen. Whether the course is tough or easy isn’t an issue with a horse like Upsilon, it’s just about switching our brains on.”

‘So proud’

Gemma Tattersall came second on Pamero 4. Gemma was the ERM 2017 champion, but this was her first podium finish this year. Pamero 4 played an important part in her series win last season, and he put in a classy performance in all three phases to finish on a score of 28.8pen.

“I just want to say thank you to Pamero 4 and owner Clive Smith – I’m so proud of the horse,” said Gemma. “The beginning of the season wasn’t easy as we have had a few injuries, but as you say that is horses. We are chuffed to be back at beautiful Barbury and back on the podium.”

Great weekend

It was a great weekend for Gemma who was also third in the CIC3* with Chilli Knight, who is by the 2015 Badminton winner Chilli Morning.

Just behind Gemma in third place was Chris Burton on Polystar l, who won the Arville ERM leg two weeks ago. The fastest male event rider in the world didn’t disappoint on the cross-country, and he was the only rider to achieve the optimum time. Chris has now moved to the top of the series leaderboard, pushing Laura Collett into second place.

‘Exciting horse’

Laura collected some valuable series points by finishing ninth after a wonderful performance with Dacapo, who is another of her inexperienced three-star horses.

“To come here as part of this field and produce what he has produced is incredible,” said Laura. “He is a very exciting horse for the future.”

Tina Cook and Billy the Red, and Nicola Wilson and One Two Many  finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively.

Nicola also won the CIC3* with Bulana – the mare who took her to team gold and individual bronze at the European Championships last year.

Watch live!

The Event Rider Masters now heads to Haras de Jardy, France (14 – 15 July) which you can watch LIVE on Horse & Country.

We are also showing highlights of the Event Rider Masters at Barbury, while Jenny Rudall takes you behind the scenes at the St James’s Place Barbury Castle International Horse Trials in Rudall’s Round-Up.

Rudall’s Round-Up: Barbury premieres on 16 July 8.30pm, which will be followed by the Event Rider Masters 2018: Barbury at 9pm. You can watch both shows on Horse & Country TV (Sky 184) or online via horseandcountry.tvThey are also available on Amazon Prime Video and Roku