Team America has taken the lead on the first day of the dressage Nations’ Cup at Aachen, relegating Germany into second place at this early stage.

America’s Steffen Peters leads overall with 71.33% riding the Browning’s Westphalian-bred Floriano, while teammate George Williams scored 69.33% riding his adorable lop-eared mare, Rocher. The mare came back to competition earlier this year following 18 months off recovering from tendonitis.

America, who finished third last year, is more than two percent ahead of last year’s winners, Germany going into the second day.

Richard Davison and Emma Hindle were the first two riders for Britain and put the team into sixth position overnight.

Davison rode his wife Gillian’s explosive Hanoverian gelding Hiscox Karachi, who was the British team’s discard score in last week’s Hickstead Nations Cup. The horse appears to have benefited from his Hickstead experience as he was more settled here and coped well with the Aachen atmosphere. A small mistake at the beginning of the one-time changes cost them marks, and there was tension in the walk, but the horse was still in the halts and produced good collected work and extensions for 64.86%, improving by almost two per cent on their Hickstead performance.

Emma Hindle rode the 12-year-old Lancet 2 in preference to her more established Europeans partner Wie Weltmeyer. Some resistance in the pirouettes left them on 66.71%. Hindle acquired Lancet after the Athens Olympics where he finished twelfth with Imke Schellekens Bartels of the Netherlands.

British European team members Wayne Channon with Lorenzo CH and Fiona Bigwood with Mr. G de Lully will ride tomorrow to try and improve the team’s position.

Germany is lying second after a plus-69% score from Ellen Schulten-Baumer, but the Netherlands still have their trump card of Olympic champion Anky van Grunsven to play.

Results of team competition after day one

1. USA — Floriano (S Peters); Rocher (G Williams) 140.666%
2. GERMANY — Lesotho (E Schulten-Baumer); Sterntaler Unicef (A K Linsenhoff) 138.333%
3. THE NETHERLANDS — Hexagon’s Ollright (L van Lieren); Broere Jazz (K Beckers) 134.541%
6. BRITAIN — Hiscox Karachi (R Davison); Lancet 2 (E Hindle) 131.583%

For more information or to watch live streaming of the event, visit www.chioaachen.de