There was a real shake up of the Bishop Burton College CCI3* under-25 section at the Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials today (10 June), where the top three after the dressage changed completely.
Young British talent, Will Furlong rose from sixth after the dressage to take the lead following his smooth and deceptively fast round aboard Collien P 2, who is just 10 years old. The grey mare was clever in places and finished just two seconds over the optimum time, clocking just 0.8 time-faults. They have a commanding lead of 11.6 penalties on a score of 48.4.
“Cross-country is her strongest phase but this is her first CCI3* so I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of making the time and distance,” explained Will, who only took on the ride on this mare a little over a year ago. “I know if I can get her in a good spot she will always try and jump through the flags though.”
Gina Ruck, who was fifth in this class last year, currently holds second place riding her faithful 15 year old, Rehy Too. They completed a polished round, incurring 10 time-faults to finish on a score of 60.
“I took one unplanned long route at the first water as he jumped in so boldly,” said Gina, who has produced this horse from a four year old. “He’s only 16hh and has quite a small stride so I just let him find his rhythm and continued in it.”
Charlotte Bacon had one of the best rounds of the day riding Last Touch. Despite a sticky moment at the Woodheads Seeds Offset Rails at fence 9a and b, where they added a stride, Charlotte and Lucinda Froggatt’s 12-year-old grey ate up Ian Stark’s track to finish just six seconds over the optimum time of 10 minutes 23 seconds on a score of 62.2.
“He was awesome today,” said Charlotte, who is just 19 years old. “The track played to my horse’s strengths as he stays and gallops which helps make my life easy.”
Dressage leader Thibault Fournier came to grief at fence 6c, a corner at the influential Equi-Trek Round House combination. His horse, Siniani De Lathus left a leg, unshipping the Frenchman, who was none the worse for wear.
Thibault’s fellow countryman, Aurélien Leroy, the son of prolific eventer Pascal Leroy, who was in second after the dressage, jumped clear across country but incurred 24.8 time-faults, dropping them into fifth place.
Emily King, who was in third after the dressage on Dargun, retired in the final water, the Bond Dickinson Pond at fence 20 after a stop. Dargun, who was having his first CCI3* attempt, had also incurred 20 penalties at the Woodheads Seeds Offset Rails earlier on in the course.
Full report of Bramham in this week’s H&H magazine, out 15 June.