Pippa leads on sad day at Bramham

  • Pippa Funnell maintained her superiority to take an overnight lead after cross country day at Bramham Horse Trials.

    Riding the 11-year-old Jurassic Rising, Pippa jumped a calculated clear round via all the direct routes, adding 8.4 time penalties to her dressage score. “I can’t let him run on, as he tends to go on his forehand,” she explained. “I have to keep him up to his job, so that’s why I got so many penalties. He jumped a lovely round, though.”

    William Fox-Pitt, on the other hand, produced two clears inside the time to lie second and fourth with Wallow and Ballincoola respectively. He, too, had plenty to do. “Wallow is easy to ride, but Ballincoola tends to be very uptight and can argue a lot,” said William of the nine-year-old, who joined him in March last year from producer, Andrew Haseltine – a neighbour of Pippa’s in Sussex.

    Sarah Cutteridge was also inside the time twice and gained significantly as a result. Her good mare, Wexford Lady, moved up from seventh to third place, and Cool Cocktail rose from 26th to 11th.

    Sarah’s round with Wexford Lady was not without drama, though, as she was held for 10 minutes before the final fence. “Luckily, she was feeling very fit and well,” said Sarah, who started the mare here last year but was forced to withdraw on the Friday night when she developed a foot infection.

    Caroline Pratt added 4.8 penalties on Kinsey Control to drop from third to fifth, ahead of Clea Phillipps who rose from 11th to sixth with a fault-free round on Feast of Florios. There were two other combinations round inside the time: Chris King (Peaceful Warrior) and Nigel Taylor (Orbit Dancer), who moved into eighth and 10th places respectively.

    Mostly, the direct routes rode well, although there were some instances of “brake failure” and loss of steering, which resulted in runouts at the narrow fences. Fourty-seven horses jumped clear, seven retired and five were eliminated.

    German rider Dirk Schrade maintained his dressage lead to head the National Young riders championship on the French-bred Ecrin Raiselle. Dirk, who is temporarily based with the Hoys in Gloucestershire, added nothing to his dressage score, as did second-placed William Coleman, from America, with Fox in Flight.

    The event was marred by the death of two horses. Karen O’Connor’s horse Regal Scot, 15, collapsed and died of an aneurism when approaching the final fence. Karen was not hurt. “He felt absolutely fine, and then just went,” she said. Avril Johnston’s Tricklesam suffered a heart attack following the steeplechase.

    Results after cross country day

    1, Jurassic Rising (Pippa Funnell) 46.6;
    2, Wallow (William Fox-Pitt) 47.0;
    3, The Wexford Lady (Sarah Cutteridge) 53.6;
    4, Ballincoola (William Fox-Pitt) 55.2;
    5, Kinsey Control (Caroline Pratt) 55.4;
    6, Feast of Florios (Clea Phillips) 57.4;
    7, Courting Danger (David O’Connor) 57.8;
    8, Peaceful Warrior (Chris King) 58.8;
    9, Bonza Katoomba (Matt Ryan) 60.0;
    10, Orbit Dancer (Nigel Taylor) 61.2.

    To find out more about the Guardian Collections Bramham International Horse Trials visit: www.bramham-horse.co.uk

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