It was all change at the top after a tricky showjumping course and influential cross country kept all the riders on their toes and audiences captivated in the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC***.

There was movement on the leaderboard after the showjumping, a twisty course in the morning downpour left many adding faults onto their dressage score. Dressage leader, Paul Tapner on Prince Mayo, had an unfortunate eight faults to drop to 14th place, and Gemma Tattersall moved from second to fifth after rolling a pole with new her new ride, the flashy Pamero 4. Whilst those with clear rounds were rewarded and moved up the leaderboard. Solid clears from Franky Reid-Warrilow, Willa Newton and Izzy Taylor pushed them right up into contention and Laura Collett moved up into second place on Grand Manouvere. Taking the lead was previous Bramham Horse Trials winner, Flora Harris upon the nine-year-old Master Imp-sired Monarts Masterpiece with just one phase to go.

Though kinder than the intense CCI*** course of the morning, Ian Stark’s cross country course was still ‘fast and furious’. The most influential fence on the course was 12ab, the Hollow, a rail with a steep slope down to a coffin back up to a brush arrowhead, which left some grinding to a halt at part A and many taking the longer route. It was an exciting finish to the afternoon, with the top fifteen running in reverse order, it was clear the time was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Then, with a flying round, the

USA’s Tiana Coudray, managed to sneak inside the time, eventually proving to be the fastest of the day, and flew up the leaderboard from 19th to the top, proving it could be done and inspiring speed queen, Izzy Taylor. Despite a sticky moment at the Carter Jonas moon fence when Trevidden left a leg, Izzy rode in her usual quick style to secure the second clear inside the time of the class and take the lead. Many within the top ten rode confident clear rounds but added too many time faults to stay in contention – including leader Flora Harris who, despite kicking for the finish, added 9.2 time penalties to move down to fourth place.

New Zealand’s Tim Price was one of the fastest of the contenders on Cekatinka, adding six time penalties which moved him to third place despite his ride looking a little hesitant at times. “She doesn’t give any more than she needs to, she’s quite calculated like that, but she always keeps going!” said Tim of the ten-year-old mare owned by Joanne Pullen. Tim has taken on the ride from his wife Jonelle whilst she prepares to give birth to the couple’s first baby – “I don’t want to give her back! She’s my favourite of the rides I’ve taken on from Jonelle, she reminds me of being a teenager in New Zealand when I first started out eventing – she’s the dark horse of the lot!”.

Paul Tapner had a rollercoaster of a day by his own admission, with his dressage leader, Prince Mayo, unfortunately retiring on course. Paul was thrilled to take second place on the experienced Yogi Bear VIII, “Yogi saved the day for me today! He’s a three star specialist and once I got the clear in the show jumping I knew I’d be in the money, it was a great result for him. It was a tough course and the time didn’t feel too achievable. There were several ‘S-shaped’ combinations on a bending line so it was easy to add strides and waste seconds making the time difficult.” Paul is aiming Yogi Bear for the Nations Cup at Aachen later in the year.

It was a fantastic win for Great Britain’s Izzy Taylor, who was thrilled with Patricia Turner’s Trevidden, a twelve year old by Fleetwater Opposition. “I haven’t even had him for a year yet but he’s proving to be a great cross country horse, he’s tough and did a super double clear today. The time was tight, with not many galloping stretches, but it suited my horse who is fast and you just need to get on and go! We’ve taken the CIC route with him this year to gain more experience but we might go to Burghley in the autumn.” Izzy had high praise for the competition, “I love Bramham, it’s a proper event with a proper cross country, it’s great to have a win here!”

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