Friday at Bramham: New Leaders Abound Across the Classes

We’re well on our way to the Defender Bramham International Horse Trials to cover the weekend’s jumping phases – and in the meantime, there’s been plenty of action playing out across the three classes on this year’s FEI roster.

Yesterday’s CCI4*-L lead was held by Ros Canter and her young gun MHS Seventeen, who scored an impressive 29.9 and the only sub-30 score of the class at that point. Today, though, they’ll have to settle for provisional second, thanks to one more sub-30 score, this time for Tom Jackson and Ask For Manchier, who lead going into tomorrow’s cross-country on a 28.8.

“He’s come here not having had the best preparation with the wet spring and everything, but he really delivered out there today,” says Tom. “I’m really pleased with all the trot work; he’s quite an attractive looking horse anyway, and he normally does a pretty solid, good test. The highlights were the canter half-passes, which he got really good marks for, but there’s still a few marks to get out there.”

Tom, who was sidelined with a broken leg earlier this spring but bounced back in time to tackle Badminton with two horses, describes Ian Stark’s track as “a fantastic looking cross country course – the whole park looks amazing, but there’s a lot to do tomorrow.”

“Bramham’s a really important event, because you really know what you’ve got by the end of the week,” he adds. “If they go around here well, you know they’re ready for a five-star. If not, you’ve got a bit more homework to do. It’s different from a lot of other four-stars in that way.”

Third place overnight goes to Harry Meade and the former Sam Griffiths ride Annaghmore Valoner on a 31.3, while fourth place is held by up-and-comer Max Warburton and Deerpairc Revelery on 31.5, ahead of last year’s CCI4*-S champions Selina Milnes and Cooley Snapchat on 32.2. Allie Knowles and Morswood sit eighth going into cross-country on their reroute from Badminton, while Tiana Coudray and D’Artagnan are fourteenth overnight.

Ireland’s Molly Evans is best of the bunch in the nine-strong under-25 CCI4*-L after delivering a 33.1 on Wellan Graffiti. Her nearest competition is France’s Johann Reim and Chronos Dujo, on a 35.6, while Saffron Cresswell is third, but current leader in the British under-25 National Championship, on a 35.8 with Vivendi Hero. US representative Cassie Sanger sits sixth and eighth with Fernhill Zorro and Redfield Fyre, respectively, after putting up scores of 37.2 and 42.4.

“It actually didn’t start the way I planned, but she felt lovely. She warmed up extremely well; I actually worried I’d warmed up too long. She was actually one that in the early days we wouldn’t warm up, we just went straight in, so it’s kind of a juggling match all the time. It just depends how she comes out. But she went in and did a beautiful test in the big atmosphere — the biggest atmosphere she’s ever been in in her life.”

“There was a few moments in the tests where I thought ‘that’s going to cost us’, and they didn’t go quite the way I’d planned, but in between, she was great,” Molly smiles. “I’m super excited for the course – it’s big, bold jumping, and that’s what we love.”

The stacked CCI4*-S is led going into tomorrow’s duo of jumping phases by Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo, who posted a very smart 22.5 as they continue their ongoing bids for Paris selection. They’re just ahead of China’s Alex Hua Tian and Jilsonne van Bareelhof, who impressed for a 23.8, and while yesterday’s leaders, Ryuzo Kitajima and Be My Daisy are now in overnight fourth on their score of 24.7, they’re pushed off the podium for now by a compatriot: Kazu Tomoto will go into showjumping in third place riding Vinci de la Vigne JRA on a score of 24.5. Kitty King continues to make her own bid for selection clear, too; she and Vendredi Biats are fifth heading into the jumping phases on a 25.2.

Tomorrow sees us head into a packed day of cross-country, starting with the CCI4*-L from 9.00 a.m., moving into the under-25 class until lunchtime, and then the CCI4*-S all afternoon. You’ll be able to follow along with it all on Horse & Country TV, and you can keep an eye on the live scores here – and, of course, tune into EN for a full debrief and photo gallery of all the action, as we’ll have boots on the ground for the rest of the event. Keep on scrolling for a look at some of the best of today’s social media updates, plus some closer looks at the course to come.

Kick on, and Go Eventing!

Defender Bramham: Website | Entries and Live Scores | Cross-Country Preview | Live Stream | EN’s Coverage


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