Bramham Horse Trials: Pippa Funnell tops leader board after dressage

  • Pippa Funnell leads after dressage in the senior CCI3* at the Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials.

    Riding Carole Toliver’s 11-year-old Or Noir De La Loge (pictured), Pippa scored 40.6. Her only problem came when the low-mileage Kannan son was suddenly frightened by the simultaneous clicking of several cameras at the A end of the arena during the left canter.

    “I don’t blame him for it as that’s where he is at the moment [in his training],” said Pippa. “The rest of the time he was with me every step of the way and, though it messed up that movement and the next, he then took a deep breath and came back to me.”

    Pippa, who has won here three times before, is 3pen ahead of last year’s victors, William Fox-Pitt and Christopher Stone’s stallion Chilli Morning.

    “I’m pleased with him, although once you’ve got a 33 at Kentucky, anything else is a little bit disappointing,” said William. “He was a bit more lit up here, but he didn’t do anything wrong.”

    France’s Maxime Livio, last night’s leader on Cathal De Gamel, holds third place. Zara Phillips sits fourth on Lord Lauries, with New Zealand’s Sir Mark Todd (Leonidas II) fifth and another Frenchman, Mathieu Lemoine (Quickness), rounding out the top six.

    In the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3*, Mark leads with NZB Regent Lad, who scored 40.6.

    “He’s very straightforward in the dressage and normally does a smart test,” said Mark, whose only mistake was losing rhythm and outline into the final halt. “He just got a bit lazy anticipating that halt.”

    The grey was the only horse among the few to compete today to better last night’s leaders, BBC presenter Janine Jansen and Velocity II. Franca Luedeke holds third for Germany with Parlando 23.

    Young rider individual bronze medallist Dani Evans tops the Bishop Burton College under-25 CCI3* with Raphael II on 40.4. As with the other classes, she has a couple of points in hand, sitting 3.2pen ahead of Tom McEwen (Diesel). Georgie Spence makes it three Brits at the top of the leader board by holding third with Wii Limbo.

    Mark Todd predicted changes in the order after the cross-country tomorrow over Ian Stark’s tracks, saying: “It’s a proper three-star which asks lots of different questions all the way round. In particular, there’s a lot to jump near the end of the course.”

    The CIC3* competitors showjump tomorrow morning and then finish their class with the cross-country, while in the CCI classes riders will go across country tomorrow before showjumping on Sunday.

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