Nicola Wilson (née Tweddle, pictured) has regained the top spot at Bramham Horse Trials after cross-country day.
Thursday’s dressage leaders Nicola and the 15-year-old Skiver added just 3.2 time-penalties to their first phase score of 48.3.
“He gave me a lovely ride and felt on form,” said Nicola. “I did have a scary moment at the second water when he left his legs on the log, but we survived.”
Pippa Funnell also had an excellent round on Ensign to retain second place with 7.6 time-penalties.
Big gains were on offer for those few who made the optimum time, with Polly Stockton rising seven places to third on Westwood Joker and Tim Price (Vortex) and Dee Kennedy (Big El) pulling up more than 25 places each to fifth and sixth.
William Fox-Pitt held fourth with 4.8 time-penalties on Macchiato. Just 0.2 of a penalty covers the first four, so tomorrow’s show jumping promises to be exciting.
Dressage leader Andrew Nicholson was eliminated after Ginger May Killinghurst had a horse fall early on the course. And J-P Sheffield and Crown Farm Consort, third after the first phase, fell foul of the afternoon’s bogey fence, the second water at 22.
In the Bishop Burton under-25 championship Amy Young (Highville) and Georgie Davies (Hugo’s There III), first and third after dressage, both retired after jumping problems.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s Emily Galbraith, 19, and Crown Alliance posted one of just two penalty-free rounds in this section to move up to first.
“He was really straight and I got into a rhythm and just kept kicking from start to finish,” said Emily, who admitted the thought of tomorrow’s show jumping is “nerve-racking”.
Emily has a fence in hand over second-placed Oliver Townend — who jumped clear on all four of his horses — going into the show jumping.
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Log back on tomorrow for news from the last day of Bramham, and buy Horse & Hound next week for full report and photographs, plus William Fox-Pitt’s Bramham column.
1. Skiver (Nicola Wilson, GB) 51.5
2. Ensign (Pippa Funnell, GB) 51.6
3. Westwood Joker (Polly Stockton, GB) 51.7
4. Macchiato (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 51.7
5. Vortex (Tim Price, GB) 56
6. Big El (Dee Kennedy, GB) 56.3
1. Crown Alliance (Emily Galbraith, GB) 54.8
2. Eldmire Foxy Lady (Oliver Townend, GB) 59.1
3. Squire Tat (Daniel Leech, GB) 59.7
4. Running Brook II (Georgie Spence, GB) 60.6
5. Sheer Jest (Daniel Sibley, GB) 67.3
6. Bowjangle (Simon Lucey, GB) 68.7