British dressage riders exceeded all expectations on Saturday with three plus-70% scores in the grand prix special — hot on the heels of taking the team bronze medal in the European Championships at Hickstead.

The best performance came from Emma Hindle and her Hanoverian stallion Wie Weltmeyer, who brought the crowd to its feet with a spectacular test, scoring 73.68% — a personal best.

Team debutants, Nicola McGivern and Active Walero, gave another polished display to score 70.72% with highlights in the piaffe/passage tours and seemingly effortless changes.

Team stalwart Richard Davison (Ballaseyr Royale) was not far behind scoring 70.24%.

This leaves the British riders in seventh, 14th and 17th place going forward to the kür — the culmination of the individual competition on Sunday 17 August.

Winners of the special were Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty who achieved a score of 80.36%, but the US’s top combination of Lisa Wilcox and Relevant are gaining on them fast.

The US pair, who are based in Germany, scored 78.32% and look like they will take the open individual silver medal.