From a field of 50 combinations, eight produced double clear rounds over the 1.45m technical course built by David Cole, to head through to a tense jump-off.
Robert from Lancashire, who won Team Silver with the British junior team at the European Championships in Slovakia earlier this year, was on board the nine-year-old Newbridges Chablis, owned by Stacey Webb and Andy Brown.
Their first entry into the Under 23 qualifiers, the duo eased into the jump-off and produced another superb clear, stopping the clock on 38.63 seconds to top the leaderboard.
Said Team TopSpec rider Robert: “The horses are all on great form and without doubt their TopSpec feed regime keeps them fit and ready to compete at their best.”
Georgia Tame and Team Z7’s Cash Up took second place on the night, just ahead of James Whitaker and Ian Whitaker’s Glenavadra Brilliant – with just 0.06 seconds separating the two.
Tina Goosen, World Class Programme Showjumping Podium Potential Coordinator commented: “It was impressive to see such a large entry of riders competing in this class and many of them showed that they are very capable of jumping clear over this level of course.”