Equitrek Bramham International Horse Trials – XC day

The team GB selectors were watching keenly yesterday as the majority of potential team combinations set out across country in either the CCI or CIC*** sections at Bramham and there is no doubt at the end of the day they will be left with some very hard decisions.

Oliver Townend & MHS King Joules. CCI*** leaders

Oliver Townend & MHS King Joules. CCI*** leaders

The CCI*** started the day over Ian Stark’s testing track. Thoughts from riders prior to the start was that it would be influential as it tested the upper limits of 3* questions. In reality 44 of the 62 XC starters produced clears but only 11 of those could do so within the time allowed meaning there was still significant changes to the leader board ahead of tomorrow’s show jumping finale.

Andrew Nicholson who had been lying 30th after dressage on the 10yo Teseo was the first to finish inside the time allowed which sent him rocketing up the leaderboard to 8th overnight. He repeated the performance with the talented 9yo Jet Set IV later in the afternoon to rise from 5th to 3rd. Sammi Birch though wasn’t able to quite make the time and in doing so picked up 1.2 time aboard Hunter Valley II although ultimately she maintained 2nd position it has left her with no breathing space between her and Andrew. Sammi’s second ride The Court Jester who had been 3rd after dressage wasn’t feeling the love for the cross country, they picked up a first stop at the Equitrek Round House & Leap and then retired after a second at the Woodheads Seeds Offset Rails at 9. Nicola Wilson who had been equal 3rd with Sammy after dressage picked up 20 penalties early on again at the influential Round House & Leap which along with time penalties dropped them to near the bottom of the field.

Further shakes up of the leader board included both Oliver Townend on Sandiman II and Sam Griffiths on Angelo IV, who had been in top 10 positions, retiring after picking up cross country penalties. Oliver’s first ride of the day Samuel Thomas II was a penalty free round firing him up the leaderboard from 37th to 11th, and his third round on the difficult but talented MHS King Joules was masterful to retain the lead and still sitting on his dressage score. This horse is now going from strength to strength and finally showing his full potential. Oliver describes him as being the complete package and has the potential to be absolutely top class. The selectors will no doubt be watching carefully tomorrow and if Oliver can produce a clear he has to be added to those in serious consideration of a team place.

Charlotte Braer Manor Missile ©Katie Neat Photography-2Other Brits finishing in the top ten overnight include Lauren Shannon (Quality Purdey) who even with 0.4 time has risen to 4th, Ibby MacPherson (Ballygownan Diamon) to 5th, Harry Meade (Away Crusing) to 7th, Pippa Funnell jumped from 35th to 9th on Second Supreme and James Sommerville rose from 30th to 10th on the aptly named Talent.

Importantly e-Venting’s very own blogger Charlotte Brear had a fantastic round with Manor Missile (Siren) and only picked up 6 time penalties. They have now climbed from 58th after dressage to 31st after cross country and are looking forward to showjumping tomorrow.

The top twenty currently looks as follows overnight

No   Horse   Rider Dres XC
Total Pl
74 MHS KING JOULES GBR Oliver Townend 37.9 1 37.9 1
8 HUNTER VALLEY II AUS Sammi Birch 38.7 2 1.2 39.9 2
78 JET SET IV NZL Andrew Nicholson 41.0 5 41.0 3
25 QUALITY PURDEY GBR Lauren Shannon 41.2 6 0.4 41.6 4
79 BALLINGOWAN DIAMOND GBR Ibby Macpherson 43.4 9 1.6 45.0 5
66 ONWARDS AND UPWARDS NZL Caroline Powell 45.4 13 45.4 6
40 AWAY CRUISING GBR Harry Meade 48.8 21 2.4 51.2 7
12 TESEO NZL Andrew Nicholson 51.4 30 51.4 8
48 SECOND SUPREME GBR Pippa Funnell 52.2 35 52.2 9
17 TALENT GBR James Sommerville 51.4 30 0.8 52.2 10
3 SAMUEL THOMAS II GBR Oliver Townend 52.7 37 52.7 11
14 FLYING FINISH NZL Caroline Powell 44.2 10 8.8 53.0 12
65 DASSETT COOL TOUCH NZL Dan Jocelyn 49.1 22 4.0 53.1 13
37 LONGWOOD USA Katherine Coleman 53.9 42 53.9 14
4 XAVIER FAER NZL Tim Price 52.9 38 1.6 54.5 15
75 CHEQUERS PLAYBOY GBR Dee Hankey 47.7 19 6.8 54.5 16
43 XAVIER GBR Gubby Leech 54.6 44 54.6 17
61 MASTER CRISP GBR Angus Smales 49.4 23 6.0 55.4 18
33 AMSTERDAM II NZL Jesse Campbell 45.8 15 10.4 56.2 19
56 CHARLTON DOWN RIVERDANCE GBR Becky Woolven 56.3 49 56.3 20


Tom McEwan & Toledo De Kerser U25 CCU*** leaders

Tom McEwan & Toledo De Kerser U25 CCU*** leaders

The U25 CCI*** was next over the same track as the senior riders. Fast clears were again the order of the day although Tom McEwan (Toledo De Kerser) was able to maintain his lead despite picking up 2.4 time penalties. He does now though have less than a fence in hand from now second placed rider Bert Bolton riding Purple Sands. Emily King had been sitting 2nd after dressage but she retired Charlemagne after picking out a stop at the Investec Hollow. Now sitting in third place is Sam Ecroyd on Wodan II who added nothing to their dressage score.

The top ten leaderboard after cross country now looks like below:

No   Horse   Rider Dres XC
Total Pl
118 TOLEDO DE KERSER GBR Tom McEwen 40.4 1 2.4 42.8 1
112 PURPLE SANDS GBR Bert Bolton 46.6 3 46.6 2
120 WODAN III GBR Sam Ecroyd 47.3 4 47.3 3
111 OGUSTIN DU TERROIR FRA Francois Lemiere 48.8 5 48.8 4
102 DHI BEAUNESSE GBR Emily Prangnell 49.0 7 49.0 5
109 BILLY LIFFY GBR Olivia Craddock 53.6 13 53.6 6
106 REHY TOO GBR Gina Ruck 54.9 17 54.9 7
103 FERNHILL FORTITUDE USA Jennifer Caras 48.9 6 7.6 56.5 8
119 WHAT A CATCH II GBR Libby Seed 52.9 12 4.4 57.3 9
115 ZOCARLA BLH GBR Danielle Dunn 53.9 14 6.4 60.3 10


The CIC*** would normally showjump on the Saturday with the crosscountry as the final phase on the Sunday but at the request of the GBR selectors the phases have been reversed. As with the other 3* sections the majority of combinations went clear but time penalties again shook up the placings.

Holly Woodhead & DHI Lupison. Overnight CIC*** leaders

Holly Woodhead & DHI Lupison. Overnight CIC*** leaders

Dressage leader Pia Munker had withdrawn Louis M which put the pressure on Holly Woodhead who rose to the occasion and produced a great clear inside the time DHI Lupison to add nothing to their dressage score. A showjumping clear tomorrow could well see them see them represent GB at another senior championship after their individual debut at the Blair Europeans last year.

On form Gemma Tattersall looked classy on both her rides Chico Bella P and Quicklook V. Although the latter picked up 2 time penalties she now occupies 2nd and 5th places respectively. Considering these performances never mind her Badminton performance on Arctic Soul and her ERM placings both here and at Chatsworth the selectors will surely be mad not to send her to Rio on one of her many mounts.

Gemma Tattersall & Chico Bella P, 2nd overnight in the CIC***

Gemma Tattersall & Chico Bella P, 2nd overnight in the CIC***

Kitty King put her starting issues with Ceylor LAN at Chatsworth behind her to pick up only 2.8 time penalties. This 9yo gelding is such an impressive jumper and is now showing at the very least he can get close to the time XC, but he has yet to get inside which could prove influential. Tina Cook took the opportunity to prove Billy The Red can be fast when required. She added nothing to his dressage score, this being the first time he has been inside the time at 3* level to stay on 43.1 to be in 3rd into the showjumping finale. Billy The Red is consistent in all three phases and previously has only missed out on higher placings due to time penalties so another to provide headaches for the selectors. Tina also currently sits in 10th on Calvino II who was also clear inside the time. Paul Tapner (Yogi Bear VIII) an Tim Price (Bango) ensured that the British riders didn’t totally white wash the top 10 and currently sit in 4th and 7th respectively after neither added any penalties to their dressage scores.

William Fox-Pitt produced clears from both his main Rio contender Chilli Morning and also Parklane Hawk but in doing so picked up time penalties to sit in 12th and 13th respectively whereas both could have been inside the top 10 had they been faster. This leaves an interesting quandary for selectors, William has always been reliable and when it matters normally pulls clears out the bag but time penalties could well prove decisive. We would after all expect that team prospects were asked to ride for the time.

The top 20 after the cross country is now as follows:

No   Horse   Rider Dres XC
Total Pl
201 DHI LUPISON GBR Holly Woodhead 40.0 2 40.0 1
182 CHICO BELLA P GBR Gemma Tattersall 42.7 4 42.7 2
190 BILLY THE RED GBR Kristina Cook 43.1 6 43.1 3
180 YOGI BEAR VIII AUS Paul Tapner 44.9 8 44.9 4
152 QUICKLOOK V GBR Gemma Tattersall 42.9 5 2.0 44.9 5
186 CEYLOR L A N GBR Kitty King 42.6 3 2.8 45.4 6
209 BANGO NZL Tim Price 45.7 10 45.7 7
181 BILLY THE BIZ GBR Pippa Funnell 43.8 7 2.0 45.8 8
166 ONE TWO MANY GBR Nicola Wilson 48.8 15 48.8 9
161 CALVINO II GBR Kristina Cook 49.3 17 49.3 10
202 BAYANO GBR Flora Harris 45.0 9 4.4 49.4 11
183 CHILLI MORNING GBR William Fox-Pitt 46.9 11 5.2 52.1 12
154 PARKLANE HAWK GBR William Fox-Pitt 47.0 12 6.4 53.4 13
165 PAMERO 4 GBR Laura Collett 50.5 18 3.2 53.7 14
153 FIGARO VAN HET BROEKXHOF GBR Jodie Amos 56.7 24 4.8 61.5 15
179 WILLOWS TIPSTER GBR Ben Way 61.0 34 1.6 62.6 16
170 COOLEY EARL GBR Georgie Strang 57.3 25 6.4 63.7 17
174 STRIKE SMARTLY GBR Daisy Berkeley 51.5 20 12.4 63.9 18
197 KELECYN PIRATE JPN Toshiyuki Tanaka 60.1 30 5.6 65.7 19
193 SPORTING UNO GBR Rebecca Nicholson 60.6 32 7.6 68.2 20


On Sunday the action starts with trot ups for all three sections including the CIC*** before the showjumping commences. The CIC*** starts first at 9:15, followed by the U25 CCI*** and finally the CCI***.

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