Thursday at Bramham International

      Selina Milnes and Iron IV


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At the end of Thursday at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, two riders, Selina Milnes on Iron IV and Camilla Kruger on Biarritz moved into the lead of the Equi-Trek CCI4*-L

Selina and the 10-year-old bay gelding scored 29.2, just bettering their 29.5 at Houghton recently, and Selina was delighted with their test

“He did a super test, didn’t really make any mistakes. Maybe his half pass – one half pass got 5’s and 6’s but the rest he got 7’s. When he was warming up, I could tell he was on form and going to do a good test today. I had him out twice this morning and he was a bit fresh near the stables then I trotted him down about an hour before his test and gave him a stretch over there, then put him away so he was really relaxed by the time I warmed him up for the test”

“Bramham should suit him, we’re just short of runs this year so my concern is if he will get the distance. He’s a big striding horse and it’s a big, bold course - the coffins are really big (and we only come across those at Bramham) and so are the waters complexes, but I’d like to think he would be up there”


      Camilla Kruger and Biarritz II


Zimbabwe’s Camilla Kruger is very close behind on a score of 29.4 riding her Rio Olympic horse, Biarritz II, while Sweden’s Jonna Britse on Quattrino is in third on 29.9 with 32 riders yet to come on Friday


      Jonna Britse on Quattrino


While there was an international flavour at the top of the long format 4*, it is the northern based Brits who are faring well in the CCI4*-S. Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson is very local to this event and currently leads the class riding the eight year old JL Dublin with a score of 25.1


      JL Dublin in the atmospheric arena and being lavished with love (below)


“He’s such a young horse for this level” says Nicola “So to go into the arena with the atmosphere that Bramham has and perform his lifetime best is just remarkable. I’m just so proud of where he’s come from; we’ve had him (with owners James and Jo Lambert and Deidre Johnston) since a four-year-old and he’s just been a super horse to work with so this is very exciting. Sometimes he can be a bit clumsy on his feet, but he had his dancing shoes on in there today!”

“Bramham is always a very testing course because of the terrain and because Ian Stark is designing so it will be a hugely educational week for my horse but he has started really well”

Nicola is back in the arena tomorrow, this time riding her more experienced Yacabo BK in the CCI4*-L


     "He's like my son!" Ben and Shadow Man II

Ben Hobday won the Open Intermediate at Belsay last weekend (watch his full cross country ride here) on Shadow Man II and they are up there again this week in second place behind Nicola on a score of 26 at one of his favourite events

“We’ve been working really hard on perfecting the finer details” said Ben “When he came out of the arena he got a bit excited but during the actual test, he kept it under wraps. He kind of knows what I’m thinking and I just adore him, he’s everything I want in a horse so hopefully we’ll have that feeling on Saturday. I’ve had him since he was a two-year-old so he’s like my son!”

Nini French is currently in third place on Time For Harry with a score of 28.1


       Richard Coney and Kananaskis


Richard Coney has followed up his Senior British team debut at Houghton Nations Cup with a very good start in the CCI4*-L Under 25 class on board Kananaskis but it is very tight at the top of the leader board

Richard leads on 29.8, Yasmin Ingham on Sandman 7 is second with a score of 30.1 and Will Rawlin holds third riding VIP Vinnie on 30.9

“He was definitely capable of a score like that and we’ve had some good results this season” said Richard “I was pleased with the mark he got but there are some good dressage riders to come tomorrow!”

It is his first time at Bramham and, on first look at the cross country, he thinks it’s a real galloping track

“There’s lots of tough combinations and you really need to have a plan for the A’s, B’s and C’s as well as keep an eye on your time. Hopefully the big crowds will lift the horses a bit, especially towards the end of the course when they’re starting to feel a bit weary”



Australia's sole representative at Bramham, Catherine Burrell on Duke is currently in 35th place of the CCI4*-S (above) while New Zealand's James Avery and Mr Sneezy are in fifth place in the CCI4*-L (below)