IN THE PRESS: Highworth-based Australian rider Paul Tapner retains overall lead in Event Rider Masters series after Blair Castle leg

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HIGHWORTH-BASED rider Paul Tapner retained the overall lead in the Event Rider Masters series as Britain's Oliver Townend became the first dual winner of the series today after winning the fifth leg at The Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials.

Riding Cillnabradden Evo, who Townend partnered to win the fourth leg at Gatcombe three weeks earlier, the pair were faultless in showjumping to head out on the cross-country in pole position, where they completed an impressive clear round, adding just 2.4 time penalties to win the penultimate ERM leg on a score of 45.2.

Young British rider Tom McEwen, on board Diesel, took second place on the podium on 56.1 with Gemma Tattersall, riding Santiago Bay, in third on 57.7.

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