The first ever competitive dressage held at the Olympia International Show Jumping Championships drew an enthusiastic audience of more than 5,000 to the Horse & Hound dressage gala evening on Wednesday night, which must give the organisers hope in their quest to run a World Cup qualifier next year.

And Britain’s sensations of 2003, Emma Hindle and the stallion Wie Weltmeyer – who was later crowned dressage horse of the year – showed just why they are flying so high on the World Cup standings when they scored 75.3% for a new kür, ridden to a medley of Elton John hits and including movements of great technical difficulty.

Horse & Hound dressage columnist Richard Davison – who had earlier delighted the crowd with a dressage masterclass starring John Whitaker and Zara Phillips – was foot-perfect with the lovely Danish mare, Ballaseyr Royale, who scored 73.7% to finish in an honourable second place.

The eventer/dressage rider ride and drive opened proceedings with a victory for Mary King and Vicki Thompson, who beat Pippa Funnell and Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer by more than 2 sec.