It’s all change at the top of the Bishop Burton College Under-25 CCI*** leaderboard at Bramham International Horse Trials as Portuguese rider Duarte Seabra jumped from 10th to first after the cross-country.
Duarte, 23, based in Ireland with Carol Gee, picked up just 0.8 time-faults on Brave Heart to take the lead on a score of 53. The pair won the CCI*** at Blair Castle in Scotland last year.
Duarte said: “After Blair I started to believe in him, and I hope to go to the European Championships in Fontainebleau this autumn on him. He went straight and fast everywhere today.”
Britain’s Georgie Spence is 0.6pen behind him on Skylight. Georgie collected 4.8 time-faults on the 10-year-old Jumbo mare, saying afterwards: “I wimped out of the long route at the corners!”
And only 0.4pen behind Georgie is 19-year-old Emily Llewellyn, who did jump the straight route at the formidable double of corners at fence 16ab.
“I had to grow a serious pair of balls to do so — but I thought it was worth the risk,” she said. Emily and Pardon Me II were only 11th after dressage on 52.8, but added just 1.2pen across country.
The only combination inside the time was Sarah Stretton and Lazy Acres Skip On, who stayed on their dressage score of 58.6 but climbed from 16th to fourth.
None of the top three after dressage could hold their positions. American rider Jennifer Brannigan had a run-out on first-placed Cooper, France’s Maxime Livio slipped up between elements of fence 18 and was eliminated for a fall on Jaipur II, and Gemma Tattersall, third after dressage on Nyali Beach, fell off at the barrel bounce at fence 14.
Riders agreed that the course was tougher than it had first appeared.
“Quite a few people underestimated it,” said Emily Llewellyn. “It has some big questions.”
Bishop Burton College Under-25 CCI***
1. Duarte Seabra (POR) on Brave Heart (53)
2. Georgie Spence on Skylight (53.6)
3. Emily Llewellyn on Pardon Me II (54)
4. Sarah Stretton on Lazy Acres Skip On (58.6
5. Daniel Sibley on Tarmac Adam (59.8)
6. Ben Hobday on Uptons Who (59.8)
7. Rose Bridgewood on Tip Top Tiger (60.8)
8. Ed Eltham on Bonza Billabong (64.6)
9. Gemma Tattersall on Ollie Artois (67.4)
10. Sidney Dufresne (FRA) on Gros Bonnet (68)f