Daisy Dick has a comfortable lead in the CCI*** dressage at Bramham International Horse Trials, scoring 41.6 on Springbok IV.

She has 3.2pen in hand over Thursday’s top combination of local Yorkshire girl Nicola Wilson and Master Banks who, with 44.8, are two marks ahead of Pippa Funnell and Ensign.

“He’s the horse in my yard you know you could lead the dressage on,” said Daisy. “Judges love him, he’s attractive and flamboyant, and he loves his public.”

The small, neat bay Springbok IV won Blenheim in 2006 and a CIC*** at Gatcombe the following year, but ripped a shoe off and damaged a tendon in the process at Gatcombe, so had 2008 off.

“It’s very nice to have him back,” said Daisy, who won the two-star at Barrocca in Portugal on him in March.

Andrew Nicholson heads the CIC*** with 44pen on Epic. Neil Spratt is second on the grey Upleadon on 46.4, ahead of Joe Meyer on Ariki (46.8), while Harry Meade is fourth on Dunauger on 47.8.

American 21-year-old Jennifer Brannigan is in pole position in the Bishop Burton College Under-25 CCI***. She collected 42.8pen on the eight-year-old Cooper in their debut at this level.

Jennifer, who works for Philip Dutton in Pennsylvania, said: “I think the cross-country looks great. He’s really fast and a good jumper — although he’s green, he’s a very careful horse.”

Second is Frenchman Maxime Livio, riding his own Jaipur II, on 43.8. Maxime, also 21 and having his first run at a British horse trials, competed in two junior and one young rider European championships on the Selle Francais 12-year-old.

“Judges like his tests – he gives you just what you want each time,” said Maxime.

Best British rider was Gemma Tattersall, third on Nyali Beach with a score of 45.6, ahead of Portugal’s Duarte Sebra (Fernhill Gloster Rebel), Olivia Haddow (Patris Filius) and Georgie Spence (Skylight) on 48.8.

Sue Benson’s course is generally thought to be a little more straightforward than in previous years, although Bramham’s hilly terrain always takes its toll. The ground is fast, but the organisers are said to be watering overnight.

1. Daisy Dick on Springbok IV (41.6)
2. Nicola Wilson on Master Banks (44.8)
3. Pippa Funnell on Ensign (46.8)
4. Andrew Nicholson on The Light Fandango (47)
5. Andrew Nicholson on Nereo (47.4)
6. Piggy French on Some Day Soon (48)

1. Andrew Nicholson on Epic (46.6)
2. Neil Spratt on Upleadon (46.6)
3. Joe Meyer on Ariki (46.8)
4. Harry Meade on Dunauger (47.8)
5. William Fox-Pitt on Sonate V (48.2)
6. Sharon Hunt on Tankers Town (50)

CCI*** Under-25
1. Jennifer Brannigan on Cooper (42.8)
2. Maxime Livio on Jaipur II (43.8)
3. Gemma Tattersall on Nyali Beach (45.6)
=4. Duarte Sebra on Fernhill Gloster Rebel (48.8)
=4. Olivia Haddow on Patris Filius (48.8)
=4. Georgie Spence on Skylight (48.8)

Stay in touch with all the action from Bramham on Horseandhound.co.uk over the weekend, and don’t miss H&H’s full report, on sale Thursday 18 June.