Nicola Wilson (née Tweddle, pictured) leads after the first day of dressage at Bramham Horse Trials. The local rider scored 48.3 with Lady Milnes Coates’s Skiver to take first place in the middle of this morning.

This is a best three-day performance for the 15-year-old horse. He has performed good tests before — he and Nicola finished ninth at Luhmühlen 2005 after a dressage of 51.5 — but has also notched up some high scores when the big occasion atmosphere has affected him.

Vicky Brake holds second place on 50.8 penalties with the 10-year-old Imperial Cavalier, while a trio of riders share third position 2.5 penalties behind. They are Georgia Bale (Beggars Belief), Louisa Lockwood (Kiama) and John Marsden (Shillelagh Gold).

The dressage continues tomorrow morning, when Oliver Townend will be the first competitor in the under-25 section on Saxon Cross. Pippa Funnell, one of the favourites for the title in the senior class with Blenheim runner-up Ensign, will do her test at 10.52am.

For times and results go to www.bdwp.co.uk/bra
For visitor’s information go to www.bramham-horse.co.uk

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

RESULTS AT THE END OF THURSDAY
1. Skiver (Nicola Wilson, GB) 48.3
2. Imperial Cavalier (Vicky Brake, GB) 50.8
3=. Beggars Belief (Georgia Bale, GB) 51.7
3=. Kiama (Louisa Lockwood, GB) 51.7
3=. Shillelagh Gold (John Marsden, GB) 51.7
6. RJ Maxi (Sue Chadwick, GB) 52.5