Britain’s number one event rider William Fox-Pitt is in first place in both the CCI*** and the CIC*** classes at Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials in Yorkshire after a dramatic day’s sport.
He maintained his CCI*** lead on Chilli Morning, jumping clear across country inside the time to stay on his dressage score of 39.2. That gives him a fence in hand in tomorrow’s showjumping phase over second-placed Sylvain Davesne, also clear inside the time for France on Oregon Du Coty with a mark of 45.8.
“I was thrilled with him,” said William. “[Former rider] Nick Gauntlett has done a superb job with him – he’s very well trained.”
The pair were held on course for some time, and after they restarted the chestnut stallion appeared quite strong.
“It did unsettle him a bit and he felt very fresh, but he finished full of running,” said William.
Australia’s Sam Griffiths put up two great performances to take third and fourth spots on Paulank Brockagh, inside the time to stay on 47.2, and Happy Times, who just added 1.6 time-faults for a score of 48.2.
Lucy Wiegersma is fifth on Granntevka Prince, who collected 3.2 time-faults.
Izzy Taylor shot up the order from 17th to sixth with a faultless round on Briarlands Matilda.
William has also taken the lead in the huge CIC*** section with Neuf Des Cours. The big showjumping track on soft ground caused quite a few problems, and William jumped two of just 13 clears on Neuf Des Cours and sixth-placed Lionheart.
Neuf Des Cours sits on an overnight mark of 38.7 before the cross-country, chased by second-placed Andrew Nicholson and Nereo, also clear in the showjumping, on 42.
Zara Phillips gave her chances of Olympic selection a huge boost by jumping a lovely clear on High Kingdom, who goes into cross-country in third place on 43.2.
Andrew Nicholson is also fourth on Avebury with one fence down, and Pippa Funnell is fifth with Or Noir De La Loge.
Caroline Powell and 19-year-old Lenamore are equal sixth with William and Lionheart after their customary immaculate clear.
Dressage leader Laura Collett slipped a few places to ninth with two fences down on Rayef, and Tina Cook hit three on Miners Frolic for 12 faults and 22nd place.
But Laura had considerable compensation in the Bishop Burton College under-25 CCI***. She holds the lead on Noble Bestman after adding 2.8 cross-country time-faults to her 45 dressage score.
“He was amazing – he’s just a joy to ride,” said Laura of the former working hunter. “It was a really good course, big and bold with a really nice flow to it.”
Frenchman Astier Nicolas is second with 2.4 time-faults on Piaf De Bneville.
Fastest of the section was Angus Smales, who has risen from 17th to third on Ballyvooney by adding just 1.2pen to his 55.4 dressage mark.
The dressage leader Lizzie Brown fell at the second fence on Henton Attorney General.
Sadly, two horses collapsed and died. Jagganath, clear inside the time at his first CCI*** for Michael Jackson, suffered fatal heart problems after the finish of the cross-country, and Clea Phillipps’ four-star campaigner Lead The Way died of suspected heart problems after jumping the first element of fence 17.
CCI*** top 10
1 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) on Chilli Morning, 39.2
2 Sylvain Davesne (FRA) on Oregon Du Coty, 45.8
3 Sam Griffiths (AUS) on Paulank Brockagh, 47.2
4 Sam Griffiths (AUS) on Happy Times, 48.2
5 Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) on Granntevka Prince, 49.8
6 Izzy Taylor (GBR) on Briarlands Matilda, 50.6
7 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) on Avoca Alibi, 51.6
8 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on Tristar II, 52
9 Tina Cook (GBR) on De Novo News, 52.2
1 Laura Collett (GBR) on Noble Bestman, 47.8
2 Astier Nicolas (FRA) on Piaf De Bnville, 49.6
3 Angus Smales (GBR) on Ballyvooney, 56.6
4 Emily Galbraith (GBR) on Timing, 62.8
5 Tabitha Baird (GBR) on Enoch, 63.6
6 Sarah Stretton (GBR) on Skip On II, 64.4
7 Ben Hobday (GBR) on Guna Be Good, 66
8 Rosie Fry (GBR) on Bankon Louie, 66
9 Emily Parker (GBR) on Treefers, 67.6
10 Stefano Fioravanti (ITA) on Nodin D’Orval, 68.8
1 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) on Neuf Des Cours, 38.7
2 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on Nereo, 42
3 Zara Phillips (GBR) on High Kingdom, 43.2
4 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on Avebury, 40.5
5 Pippa Funnell (GBR) on Or Noir De La Loge, 45
=6 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) on Lionheart, 45.3
=6 Caroline Powell (NZL) on Lenamore, 45.3
8 Karin Donckers (BEL) on Extebaria Van Het Veradorf, 45.4
9 Laura Collett (GBR) on Rayef, 45.5
10 Andrew Hoy (AUS) on Cheeky Calimbo, 46.2