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.
Emma Hobday won the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifier for four-year-olds with Shadow Shannondale, owned by her husband Ben. Samantha Jimmison took the five-year-old qualifier with Iquitos, owned by Paul Crompton.
Dressage for all three international sections continues tomorrow (Saturday, 28 July), while showjumping and cross-country take place on Sunday, 29 July. National competitions take central stage tomorrow, with classes running from BE90 to open intermediate level.
There is also a British Showjumping Category 2 show at Burgham on Sunday.
Other attractions include lots of children’s entertainment, a variety of carefully selected locally produced food options, a licenced bar and great shopping.
For more information and to buy tickets online, visit www.burghaminternationalhorsetrials.co.uk.