The Irish rider lay 2nd overnight on PJ Hegarty’s home-bred mare, but showjumped clear to put pressure on leader Izzy Taylor.
When Izzy and Orlando, owned by Di Davies, Irene Graham and Anita Dalton, had the 1st part of the double at fence 4 down, she dropped to 2nd and victory fell to Aoife.
“I hoped she’d jump well — she finished full of running yesterday and she’s normally reliable in the showjumping,” said Aoife. “But I know Izzy and Orlando very rarely have a rail, so I didn’t expect to end up in top spot.”
Izzy said: “He doesn’t love that holding, tacky ground and it caught him out at that fence, but he kept trying and that was great.”
William Fox-Pitt, riding Lady Best and Jane Keir’s Freddie Mac, rose from 7th overnight to take 3rd with a clear round.
“I couldn’t be happier with him — this was a big step up for him, he didn’t put a foot wrong and he’ll have learnt a lot so I’m excited about his future,” said William.
Nicola Wilson’s clear lifted her from 8th to 4th with Annie Clover.
Third-placed Jodie Amos and Wise Crack had fence 10 down to drop to 5th, while Belgium’s Karin Donckers’ clear on Lamicell Unique brought her up from 9th to 6th.
Nicola and Mark Kyle (Coolio, 8th) were the only riders to finish on their dressage scores.
Aoife’s other ride, Vaguely North, was tired in the showjumping after yesterday’s exertions and his 3 down dropped him from 4th to 12th.
Full report on Bramham in H&H this Thursday, 12 June.