Ruth Edge has taken the lead in the CCI*** at Bramham Horse Trials after a dramatic day of cross-country action which saw the dressage leaderboard turned upside down.

Ruth moved up from ninth to first on Marsh Mayfly, with Andrew Nicholson also rising six places into second on Henry Tankerville, while all the rest of the top 10 after dressage dropped out of the running.

“Marsh Mayfly is really brave and always gives everything,” said Ruth. “She was a bit tired towards the end but she was still focusing on where she was going.”

In total only 39 of the 68 cross-country starters finished Sue Benson’s course, with 29 clear jumping rounds and no one making the optimum time.

Problems were well spread around the course, but it was fence 19, a brush with a drop followed by a sharp turn to two narrow brushes, which ended the chances of the top three. Overnight leader Lucy Kemplay retired after falling off Karl D’Cymbeline, second-placed Steven Smith picked up 20 penalties here and Sarah Cohen was eliminated for a horse fall with Cottage Craft Spirals, who had been third.

“He had lost both front shoes, he slipped and didn’t have a hope,” Sarah said.

But Sarah does still figure in the line-up having ridden one of the fastest rounds on her other horse Hide And Seek II, who has moved up to replace his stable-mate in third.

In the morning’s under-25 CCI*** Georgie Davies held her lead, adding just six time-penalties on Fachoudette.

“She’s very experienced and went out and did the job,” said Georgie, 23. “I went early so I didn’t know how much trouble it had caused and just went out and did my own thing.”

Dominic Ruane moved up from 11th to second with a relatively new ride, Heather Butler’s Hunters Legend.

“This was the first time I’d pushed him on round a course and he was very good,” he said. “The course wasn’t bigger than last year [when Dominic was fourth on Highwayman VII], but there were a lot of things on turns and you had to be riding on such accurate lines.”

Andrew James lies third on Ciao Mario, while Olivia Haddow has moved down one place to fourth with Patris Filius.

Results so far

Senior CCI***

1. Ruth Edge on Marsh Mayfly (GBR) 56.0
2. Andrew Nicholson on Henry Tankerville (NZL) 57.7
3. Sarah Cohen on Hide And Seek II (GBR) 58.8
4. Paul Tapner on Inonothing (AUS) 63.9
5. Joss Gray on Nabataean Treat (GBR) 64.4

Under-25 CCI***

1. Georgie Davies on Fachoudette (GBR) 50.3
2. Dominic Ruane on Hunters Legend (GBR) 61.8
3. Andrew James on Ciao Mario (GBR) 70.8
4. Olivia Haddow on Patris Filius (GBR) 72.3
5. Amy Young on Highville (GBR) 72.7