Bramham International 2018: Krajewski and Chipmunk prove imperious as they set new record

Germany's Julia Krajewski. Picture: James Hardisty
Germany's Julia Krajewski. Picture: James Hardisty

Modest Julia Krajewski said she drove to the 2018 Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse trials from Germany merely to “have fun with my horse”, but scurried to victory in the flagship event with a record score on Chipmunk.

Rio 2016 Olympics team eventing silver medallist Krajewski stunned the crowds on the first day of Bramham 2018 by producing a superb CCI three-star dressage test, which earned an eye-watering score of 19.4 – a world record under the new dressage scoring system.

This score gave the chasing pack a mountain to climb even before Krajewski and Chipmunk then brilliantly went double clear over both their cross country and showjumping tests inside the time.

Such was the pairing’s superiority, Chipmunk could have put two fences down in yesterday’s showjumping finale and still won, but in front of a packed crowd and under blue skies a clear round never looked in doubt.

New Zealand’s three-time Bramham winner Andrew Nicholson finished 8.6 points back in second on Swallow Springs with Australia’s Bill Levett third with 28.2 on Lassban Diamond Lift.

But in truth it was a case of Krajewski first and the rest nowhere with the German rider showing great modesty after a performance that put her in the Bramham record books.

“Winning on 19.4 in a three-star long one is pretty cool, but I am just very, very happy with how the horse went this week,” the 29-year-old said.

“It’s quite a long trip coming over, 22 hours with a stop included, but there is still so much that can go wrong in one week. To get it all right and finish on such a dressage score with a fit and happy horse is just really, really cool.

“This is probably one result that I will remember for quite a long time.

“If the going gets tough you will think, ‘okay, this is how the good times feel,’ and it keeps you going. I am very happy and very proud. I’m not chasing records, I actually came here to have a good time with my horse.”

Krajewski and Chipmunk’s score would have been 29.1 under the old scoring system, but that is still believed to be not only a Bramham record but a British Eventing record for winning a CCI three-star.

Kitty King ended up the highest placed Briton on 29.4 in fourth on Vendredi Biats as new MBE and nine-time Bramham winner William Fox Pitt dropped down to 11th on Oratorio II, finishing with 34.7 after putting two rails down in the showjumping finale.

Rising Harrogate star Hazel Towers fared best of the Yorkshire-based riders with Simply Smart and Simply Clover both clear over cross country to finish 28th and 35th respectively on 51.3 and 69.3. Simply Smart was also clear in her showjumping round.

Northallerton’s London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nicola Wilson retired One Two Many during their cross country test after problems at the water jump in which only brilliance in the saddle saved Wilson from a dunking.