There were a few changes atop the Equi-Trek CCI3* leaderboard after an eventful cross country phase on Bramham Saturday.  However one rider remained supreme; Germany’s Julia Krajewski with her charming Contendro sired Chipmunk FRH who were faultless over Ian Stark’s 5927 metre test.  “My horse was awesome today!” Julia said.  Every question was answered with finesse and style; the duo made light of every fence.  They finished three seconds under the time allowed of 10 minutes 24 seconds to stay on their score of 19.4 penalties.

Matthiew Vanlandeghem dropped down the order from his second place after the dressage with Trouble Fete ENE HN when they clocked up 6.4 time penalties which then opened up the door for his fellow Frenchman Karim-Florent Laghouag riding Entebbe du Hus to take advantage when he was just one second over the time to add 0.4 to his dressage of 25.9 to go second.  British combination William Fox-Pitt and Oratorio II, owned by the Oratorio Syndicate, made a three place gain to get on the podium with a fault-free round to finish on their dressage score of 26.7.

Kiwi Andrew Nicholson climbed one place with Diana Ridgeon’s Swallow Springs with 1.6 time penalties to lie fourth while a fast clear promoted Australia’s Bill Levett into the top five riding Lassban Diamond Lift, owned by Elizabeth Murdoch who take their dressage score of 28.2 forward to tomorrow’s show jumping phase.

In the British Horse Feeds u25 CCI3*, Emily King retained her advantage with Jane Del Missier’s Dargun with a speedy and impressive round which was well judged to finish five seconds inside the time, adding nothing to her dressage score of 25.5.  It wasn’t to be for American visitor Caroline Martin as she picked up 20 penalites with her first ride, Danger Mouse, at the Womble Bond Dickinson Pond which relegated her down the order from her second spot and on ride two, The Apprentice, she was judged to have jumped outside the flag at part c of the same fence and duly awarded 50 penalites.

This gave the final rider of the day Sam Ecroyd a shot at runners up spot if he could go well with Cooley Currency, also owned by Jane Del Missier.  He grabbed that chance with a great clear bang on the optimum time of 10:24 to end the day on 28.1.  French rider Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus were just one second over the time to climb from sixth to third just 0.6 behind on 28.7. Tom Jackson made a four place gain up the leaderboard with just 2.4 time penalites with Susan Jenkins’s Carpa du Buisson Z while Sam completes the top five with his other ride, Vicki Irlam’s Master Douglas on 32.1.

After her round, Emily commented; “He’s normally very careful, very straight and gallops from the start and we got in a good rhythm.  The first few combination fences went very smoothly and then question after question he was really listening to me.  I had a really big jump into the first water and only just managed to get him back for the final element.  I got held after the hollow and I’ve actually never been held before on course.  He felt quite fresh after a break and was full of running the rest of the course. I knew I was up on time before the hold so kept in the same pace when I started again.  He’s a very speed little horse and the stop really helped him.”

The British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* proved a nail biter right to the very.  Dressage leaders Ros Canter and No Excuse lowered a pole in the showjumping as did second placed Izzy Taylor and Be Touchable which handed the lead to local rider Nicola Wilson and her European team gold medallist Bulana who jumped an immaculate clear. France’s Pau four star winning duo Gwendolen Fer and Romantic Love went into second with a clear round.  News came in that Nicola decided to withdraw Bulana as she plans to run at the Luhmuhlen CCI4* in Germany next week with an eye on selection for the World Equestrian Games so Gwendolen became our leader, giving her pole position in the cross country as last to go.

Japan’s Toshiyuki Tanaka put in an excellent cross country round to finish two seconds inside the time allowed of 6:39 which left him on his dressage score of 30.7 with Talma D Allou to set a bench mark for the others to match.  Challenges came from Hanna Berg (SWE), Mollie Summerland and Selina Milnes who all jumped but the time was proving tough to make and time faults kept them behind the Japanese rider who was nervously waiting to see if he’d done enough.

It was then on to last year’s BETA CIC3* winner Izzy Taylor to make her challenge with Sophie Dodds’ Be Touchable but her day wasn’t going to plan having been eliminated in the CCI3* after a fall.  They were near foot perfect all the way round and cruised to the finish with plenty in the tank some five seconds inside the time to end on a score of 28.5 and take over the lead.  Second last to go was Ros Canter and Michele Saul’s No Excuse, who, at ten is relatively inexperienced at this level.  Ros gave him a great ride but picked up 8.4 time penalties to drop down the order but the horse will have picked up a great deal of confidence from his run around Bramham Park.

The pressure then fell to the experienced duo of Gwendolen Fer and Romantic Love; they needed a clear inside the time to take victory – not one second over the time.  They put in a typically French round – free flowing in a fantastic forward rhythm and they crossed the finish line with no jumping penalties.  So we just had to wait for confirmation of the time…which seemed to take an age but then it was given as 6:40…one second over.  The 0.4 of a penalty put her level with Izzy on 28.5 but the rules are such that Izzy was declared the winner by virtue of a fault free cross country, giving her second BETA CIC3* win in two years.

A delighted Izzy said; “It’s all very exciting; running the cross country in reverse order puts a bit more pressure on us riders which is great. To finish on the same score with one second dividing us is amazing.  I was angry with myself that I’d had a fence [in the showjumping] as he has an exceptional record.  I’d also had a horse fall in the CCI with Spring Power so I was not in the best of moods this morning but gave myself a bit of a talking to and make sure I gave him a good ride.  I’m grateful for the win, the horse hasn’t run since Blenheim last year and he was very professional in all three phases.”

Sunday’s timetable has slightly altered so if you’re coming along, please take note:

9:00 Final Horse Inspection both sections

11:00 British Horse Feeds u25 CCI3* Showjumping

11:45 Prize giving

12:45 Equi-Trek CCI3* Showjumping

14:45 Prize giving


Full results – click here

Rider interviews – click here