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Paul Tapner held onto the CIC3* dressage lead at the Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials today (9 June).

Riding Prince Mayo, Paul said he “expected” to get a good mark — the pair lead this class on a score of 42.1.

“We came to this event hoping to be competitive and we’ve got it off to a good start,” said Paul. “It was error-free but I didn’t think it was his best test — there’s still more to get out of him in his general way of going and we’re aiming for sub-40s.”

Paul, who is digital and technical director for the Event Rider Masters series, admitted he hasn’t had much time to ride recently.

“I was away in Germany all of last week, working on the Wiesbaden ERM. I got back on a horse on Monday, and came here on Wednesday,” he explained.

Second place is held by Gemma Tattersall, who also leads the CCI3*. She partnered her new ride Pamero 4 to score 42.6.

“I’m over the moon with him — I’ve only had him four weeks, and I was away at Houghton Horse Trials for one of those, so it’s testament to how well Laura Collett has produced him,” said Gemma, who produced Prince Mayo as a four- and five-year-old. “We now need to learn about each other and which buttons to press. Ian Woodhead has helped us loads with our dressage already so it’s quite exciting.”

Flora Harris is in third riding Monarts Masterpiece on a score of 43.3.

“I’m really pleased with him as he’s only nine,” said Flora who has had the ride for 18 months after the horse was produced to one-star level by Polly Jackson. “He’s only just stepped up to this level — he’s a wonderful talent but very hot. Andrew Fletcher has helped us a lot with teaching him to become more accepting of leg and hand and he will definitely be a ’30s horse’ in the future.”

The CIC3* showjumping action gets underway at 8.30am tomorrow.

Don’t miss the full report from Bramham in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (out 15 June