It’s a familiar sight in the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* with Mr Bramham, William Fox-Pitt in the lead with Christopher Stone’s Chilli Morning but this year, the 2013 European Team Bronze medallists, posted their best CIC3* score, an amazing 31.5.  Even better for the home side, home riders occupy the top six, with Belgian rider Karin Donkers spoiling an entirely British top ten.

Huddersfield born rider Oliver Townend is William’s nearest rival, albeit 11.6 penalties behind with his ride Black Tie II , owned by Karyn Shuter on 43.1.  It’s then very tight over the next three places.  18 year old Emily King is just 0.9 of a penalty behind in third on Patsy Mason’s Mr Hiho with 44.0.

Dressage specialist Ruth Edge is fourth with Hip Hop Hero on 44.2 with Ros Canter completing the top five on Allstar B with 44.8.

William was clearly pleased with his test; “I’m delighted.  He’s very talented on the flat and I know he can do it, but making it happen is then down to me.  It’s added pressure on me that way but today he felt relaxed and soft.  It felt like a good test and it’s always great when the judges’ marks reflect that.”

Competing at Bramham was always the plan for Chilli as William is aiming for a place on the British Team for this year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy this September.  The combination were competing at last month’s Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth CIC3* and were competitive after dressage and show jumping but William resisted temptation and saved him for this Yorkshire trip.  “He likes it here and I know Ian (Stark) always builds a strong course which suits him.  He had an easy time while I was at Badminton so wasn’t at his peak for Chatsworth but he’s ready for this Saturday,” said William.

We’re underway in the BETA CIC again at 9:00 tomorrow morning.  Results and times on www.bdwp.co.uk/bra and visit our media page for an interview with William.