Andrew Nicholson (pictured) will defend his Bramham title this week on two new rides.

The New Zealander has his best chance of picking up the prize he won last year on Henry Tankerville with Ginger May Killinghurst. He started competing the chestnut mare, previously ridden by M-J Tumbridge, at the start of this season, and won the advanced at Chatsworth with her.

Andrew has also entered Anna Lidar’s Double Dealer, who he has never ridden in competition.

There are two other previous winners in the senior CCI***, with double victor Pippa Funnell bringing Blenheim runner-up Ensign.

William Fox-Pitt, who has twice scored a one-two at this Yorkshire event, rides British Intermediate Champion Macchiato. William is bidding to win a fourth three-day event in three weeks, after success at Houghton and Tattersalls.

There are also two CCI** winners in the field, Selina Elliott’s 2006 Tattersalls victor L.B and Rockhill Kashmir, who took the top spot at Burgie last year under David Gatherer.

Zara Phillips, under-25 winner here in 2002, rides Tsunami II, while the busiest rider will be Oliver Townend, who has four rides across the two sections.

Young rider European Champion Amy Young is one of the favourites for the under-25 title — if she wins she and Highville will have a hat-trick of national age titles, having previously been under-18 and under-21 champions.

Sue Benson’s cross-country course will be in the spotlight after last year’s controversy, when there were a high number of falls.

The track has a new start and finish and the first water is now at fence four. London 2012 course-designer Sue says she has eliminated many of last year’s unpopular twists and turns, making the track more like the big, bold Bramham of the old days.

Log on for daily reports from Bramham from Horse & Hound eventing editor Pippa Roome, plus blogs from under-25 section competitor Charlotte Agnew.

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