Ireland’s Steven Smith grabbed second place in the CCI*** at Bramham Horse Trials as the final competitor this afternoon.
Steven and Quality VH scored 44.4 with a flowing, expressive test and are just 0.1 of a penalty behind yesterday’s leaders Tracy Garside and Dunauger (pictured).
Steven explained that Quality VH’s owner Sarah Allwood had put the horse out last September after he was not selected for the Irish team for the European Championships, but had asked Steven to take the 15-year-old on again in February.
“Now we’ve got the good news the Irish are into the Olympics everyone’s name is on the longlist and it’s all down to how we get on in the next few events,” said Steven. “To be selected I have to finish well up here and then pull out all the stops [in the final trial] at Barbury.”
This combination were well-placed after dressage here two years ago, but then had a stop cross-country.
“He’s getting better and better the more he does, but I still have to work hard cross-country,” admitted Steven.
Local freelance instructor Tracy Garside was amazed to hold her lead today.
“I was quite relaxed last night and decided to just enjoy this brief window in this position, but now I’m in denial,” she joked this evening.
In the under-25 section CCI*** debutante Emily Llewellyn, 19, holds the lead with Pardon Me II, her partner when winning team gold and individual bronze medals at the junior European Championships last year.
Gemma Tattersall is second on Nyali Beach, while reigning junior European champions Laura Collett and Rayef are third.
The first horse in the under-25 section starts the cross-country at 9.45am tomorrow, with the seniors following afterwards.
The consensus of opinion among riders is that course-designer Sue Benson has subtly tweaked last year’s well-received track, but the degree of difficulty is much the same.
RESULTS AT END OF DRESSAGE
1. Dunauger (Tracy Garside, GB) 44.3
2. Quality VH (Steven Smith, IRL) 44.4
3. Kaleidoscope (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 45.2
4. Mr Dumbledore (Ruth Edge, GB) 45.4
5. L’Aristo Du Lado (Matthew Wright, GB) 46.5
6. Mr Pracatan (Dan Jocelyn, NZL) 47.4
1. Pardon Me II (Emily Llewellyn, GB) 48.5
2. Nyali Beach (Gemma Tattersall, GB) 49.6
3. Rayef (Laura Collett, GB) 50.2
4. Trinity Hill (Oliver Smith, GB) 50.9
5. Kilpatrick River (Elizabeth Power, IRL) 56.3
6. Briarlands Blackberry (Izzy Taylor, GB) 57.2
Log back on to www.horseandhound.co.uk for daily reports from Bramham and don’t forget to buy H&H next Thursday (12 May) for a full report, colour photographs and William Fox-Pitt’s comment.