Alex Hua Tian Jilsonne Van Bareelhof 4

Alex Hua Tian on course for repeat success with former Hartpury winner

China’s Alex Hua Tian will lead the NAF Magic CCI4*S going into the cross country phase after partnering last year’s Hartpury NAF Superflex CCI3*L winner Jilsonne Van Bareelhof for a test score of 25.8. They were the first combination into the International Arena on the second day of dressage, setting a standard that proved too hard to catch, even for an esteemed field brimming with former 4* and 5* winners.

Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street, winners of the Burghley Horse Trials in 2019, performed their test late in the day and sit in second place after a test score of 27.5. The favourites (according to Equiratings), Piggy March and Brookfield Inocent lie in 6th place with a score of 28.3. She also has Coolparks Sarco and yesterday’s dressage leader Brookfield Cavalier Cruise both inside the top ten.

Pippa Funnell also has Billy Wonder (29.8) and this year’s Bramham champion MCS Maverick (31.4) at Hartpury.

Bubby Upton is enjoying a strong season, sitting in third and fourth place after the first phase. Her Bramham CCI4*L Under 25 winner Magic Roundabout IV joins her Badminton partner Cola III in prime positions going into cross country.

It was all change at the top of the leaderboard in the NAF Metazone CCI2*L, Great Britain’s Holly Woodhead and the 16.2hh Guns N Roses knocked the overnight leader off the top spot with 24.9, and managed to fend off the rest of the field for the rest of the day.

Coral Hardman and De Facto rode a superb test three from the end, narrowly missing out on taking the lead with a score of 25. Following Coral into the arena was Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy and MGH Zabaione who stopped the NAF Metazone CCI2*L being dominated by British riders and taking third with 26.5.

Mark Davidson and Fonbherna Lancer who are based with Piggy March arrive fresh off the back of a superb win at Burgham CCI3*S. They took the lead in the NAF Superflex CCI3*L with 26.2. Millie Juleff, the leader after the first day with Viktor Krum, held onto second place with 26.4. Bubby Upton sits in third place with It’s Cooley Time on 28.1.

Warm conditions are set to ease on Saturday for cross country and competitors can expect perfect going when competition commences at 8.00am BST.