Tom was second overnight and had the very first fence down on his own Diesel. This gave leader Dani Evans, riding Vanessa Watson’s Raphael II, one fence in hand, which she used up at fence seven. This would not have been disastrous, but she also had four time-faults to finish 0.8 of a penalty behind Tom.
Both riders have previously been trained by Pippa Funnell and she helped them both warm-up.
“I wasn’t really doing what Pippa told me at the first — I was a bit underpowered — but that woke me up,” said Tom. “I’ve come through young riders with Dani and she’s always jumped really well, so I expected her to go clear — I was hoping for her that she’d win it.”
Dani added: “He jumped very well and I’ll be kicking myself for a good while for the time-faults. It hasn’t always been our easiest phase as he’s different every time and you can’t help him, you have to ride him on a soft rein to the deep spot and it’s hard to do that when you’re in the lead.”
France’s Astier Nicolas provided one of just two clears in the class to move up to third with Quickly Du Buguet, who he co-owns with his mother Bénédicte.
Laura Collett had the very last fence down to drop one place to fourth on Philip Walker’s Allora 3.
Georgie Spence (Wii Limbo) held fifth with two down, while Orlane Hillereau of France completed the top six on Naome De Glain.
Log back on later for a final report on the senior CCI3* and buy H&H next Thursday for a full report from Bramham (13 June).