HIGHWORTH-BASED rider Paul Tapner hopes challenging for leadership of the Event Rider Masters leaderboard at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park can help him make up for missing out on the Olympic Games this weekend.

While the Rio eventing competition gets under way in Brazil Tapner, who was left out of the Australian Olympic team, has his eyes on the £30,000 series rider bonus as a 40-strong field competes in the fourth leg of the series in Gloucestershire.

Riding Yogi Bear IV, the former Badminton Horse Trials winner currently lies in second on the leaderboard with 63 points, three adrift of Britain's Gemma Tattersall, who is away with Team GB at the Olympics.

“Every cloud has a silver lining,'' said Tapner who was second behind Marlborough-based New Zealander Andrew Nicholson and Nereo at leg three of the series at last month's Barbury Horse Trials.

"Following the disappointment of not receiving the Olympic call-up and with Gemma Tattersall away in Rio, I have an opportunity to try and grab a good lead in the series.

"Yogi and I are raring to go and we plan to make the most of this weekend’s competition.''

Also aiming to make an impact at Gatcombe are Lambourn-based Laura Collett, riding Pamero 4 and Marlborough-based New Zealander Jesse Campbell, on board Kaapachino, currently sixth and eighth respectively in the standings.

Campbell said: “The ERM class this weekend is not going to be easy to win.

"Paul Tapner and Izzy Taylor, who unfortunately is now not riding at Rio, are just two names featuring in a quality field.

"I will not be taking anything for granted.

"However, Kappy (Kaapachino) is a very experienced horse, he knows what he has to do and I couldn’t be happier to be riding him this weekend.''

Taylor, whose Rio horse Allercombe Ellie sustained an injury, ruling her out of the Games, rides KBIS Briarlands Matilda, while Australia's former double Olympic team gold medallist Andrew Hoy makes his ERM debut on Cheeky Calimbo.

British rider Harry Meade, who is based at West Littleton near Chippenham, is also at Gatcombe, riding Away Cruising and Orlando in the Advanced class.

Flora Harris, based at Uffcott near Broad Hinton, rides Cooley Lord Lux in the British Open Championship, as does Badgerstown-based Tom McEwen on Staff Des Champs. McEwen also has Toledo De Kerser in the Advanced Class.