Flora Harris leads after dressage in the CCI3* at the Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials.
She was the first into the arena today and scored 38.1 on Bayano, a nine-year-old by Contendro II, who belongs to Flora’s mother Caroline and Rebecca Salt.
“I’m thrilled with him — I felt he was a bit more connected at Tattersalls [where he scored 37.4 before being pulled up after a run-out across country] but he showed other strengths today. His brain was fantastic and he was very very soft and rideable,” said Flora (video interview above).
Four riders impressed the ground jury of Angela Tucker (GBR), Christina Klingspor (SWE) and Harry Payne (GBR) enough to score in the 30s — and they were all British.
William Fox-Pitt holds second on Carol Gee and Catherine Witt’s Fernhill Pimms after a mark of 38.1.
“He’s got a great way of going and normally scores well in the dressage, but it is a big atmosphere here so you never know,” said William.
Kitty said: “That’s one of the best three-star test he’s done. The changes were through and rideable and he didn’t make any errors — he can be tricky coming out of halt into trot and pop into canter — but he did everything spot on and I’m delighted with him.”
Pippa commented: “He was really good — mentally I don’t want to put more pressure on him at the moment because I think it’ll come with him getting stronger physically.”
Pippa also leads the CIC3*, after a mark of 34.7 on her own and Carol Toliver’s Billy The Biz. The grey’s test was only marred by a buck in his first flying change.
“He’s getting stronger and stronger, so his self-carriage is getting better and then I can get his neck longer,” said Pippa. “He’s got such a lovely brain — when you go in there he wants to show off, although he can have a buck and a squeal, he’s like that in his personality.”
Last night’s leader Nicola Wilson lies second with her parents Mary and Barry Tweddle’s Annie Clover (37.4) and New Zealand’s Caroline Powell holds third with Cameron Crawford’s Onwards And Upwards (39).
The competitors in this class showjump tomorrow morning and then conclude their event by running across country.
Bishop Burton College under-25 CCI3*
Holly Woodhead sits in pole position in the under-25 class riding her young rider individual silver medallist DHI Lupison, who had the performance of the day for a mark of 33.
Although DHI Lupison is officially registered to her father Ian and stepmother Heidi, Holly explained that the horse had belonged to her grandfather Alan, who passed away just last Sunday.
“He was a wonderful man and this horse was everything to him — he knew he had a big competition this week, so it’s an emotional week,” she said. “I hoped to be in the mid-40s, I didn’t expect low 30s.”
Millie Dumas is second on Artistiek (36.7), with Dani Evans third and fourth on Raphael II (38.3) and Smart Time (39.4).
The seniors run across country first tomorrow over what riders described as “a typical Ian Stark track” — big and bold with forward distances — with the under-25s following them out.
More updates from Bramham online over the weekend. Full report in the magazine next week, out Thursday, 18 June.