Yorkshire’s Nicola Wilson heads the field in the Newton Hall CIC3* class at Northumberland’s premier equestrian event, Burgham International Horse Trials, after the first day of dressage.
Nicola, part of Britain’s gold medal-winning team at the 2017 European Championships, scored 24.9 on Gerry and Mary Kemp and Janine Shewan’s One Two Many, giving her a two-penalty lead over local competitors Bella Innes-Kerr and Carolyn, second on 26.9.
Nicola and the 16-year-old One Two Many won Burgham’s CIC3* class in 2015 and finished second in 2014.
Les Smith, president of the ground jury which judged the CIC3* tests, said: “We only awarded one ‘nine’ today [each movement in the dressage is scored out of 10] and that was to Nicola for the extended walk. Her test was very consistent; the horse has naturally good balance in the canter and a fabulous walk.”
World number one Oliver Townend brought his pair of CCI4* winners – Ballaghmor Class, who took Burghley last year, and Cooley Master Class, victorious at Kentucky this spring – to Burgham to prepare them for their autumn targets. Ballaghmor Class lies third in the CIC3* on a mark of 27.8, while Cooley Master Class is sixth in the Howard Russell Construction Ltd CIC2*.
The CIC2* is led by Sarah Bullimore, who scored 25.1 on Christopher and Susan Gillespie’s seven-year-old mare Quimira. Oliver Townend is just behind her in second with Tregilder on 25.7, while Irish Olympian Aoife Clark is third with 26 penalties aboard Celus D Ermac Z.
In the Metnor Group CIC*, another Irish rider, Susie Berry, is in pole position with a stunning score of 19.9 with Fernhill G, a seven-year-old owned by Sue Wilkinson. This gives Susie a healthy lead at this stage over Italy’s Giovanni Ugolotti, second with 23.3 on Swirly Temptress. Third is Nicola Wilson once more with 23.6 aboard Drumnconnell Toto Wolff.