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Emily King leads the British contingent holding third place in the CCI3* under-25 at the Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials after the dressage today (9 June).

Riding Jane Del Missier’s nine year old, Dargun, Emily posted a score of 43.8.

“He was really good but not as good as he can be,” admitted 21-year-old Emily. “On Wednesday he was fresh and forward, but yesterday it was quite muggy and so he felt a bit quiet due to the temperature.”

Emily’s test wasn’t completely mistake-free.

“Dargun did a flying-change on the centre line just before our final halt,” explained Emily. “The judge at B gave us 8.5 whereas the other two gave us fours. He has a very bouncy canter and his lateral trot work was very good. He’s a beautiful horse and a real sweetheart.”

The striking chestnut is making his CCI3* debut at Bramham.

“The ground is amazing on the cross-country at the moment — hopefully it won’t rain too much before we go round,” said Emily. “It’s a big and bold course and Dargun has never galloped this far before so we’ll see how we get on.”

No less than eight of the 27 under-25 competitors are French, and the top two spots are held by this nation.

Thibault Fournier is in the lead riding the 11-year-old Siniani De Lathus on a score of 40.

“I’m very pleased with my horse — he was much better than he has been before as he concentrated more,” explained the 22-year-old biology undergraduate. “The judges always like him and there weren’t any big mistakes.”

Second place belongs to Aurélien Leroy and Seashore Spring who scored 43.4.

“I’m very happy, but a bit disappointed with my mark — he is a good dressage horse,” said the 24-year-old who runs a large eventing and showjumping yard. “There were two tiny mistakes — one in a flying-change and the other in a walk transition, but other than that it was good.”

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The CCI3* cross-country action gets underway at 9.30am tomorrow, with the under-25 riders starting at 12.38pm.

Don’t miss the full report from Bramham in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (out 15 June)