The British team are on track to retain their Paradressage World Championship title and dominate the individual medals at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, 20 July.

The squad of Lee Pearson, Simon Laurens, Anne Dunham and Michelle Crunkhorn go into the lead overnight following today’s team tests. The final team result will be decided after the individual tests take place tomorrow.

Non team-member Sophie Christiansen beat team-member Anne Dunham with 73.29% in the grade 1a test. Sophie said: “I’ve only been riding Gazel for two weeks so I really can’t believe we won. The horse spooked just before I went into the arena so I was cautious to start with, but then we both relaxed and got better and better.”

Athens triple gold medalist Lee Pearson took the grade 1b test on 77% with his new ride Altino, scoring 77%. Lee’s pupil Ricky Balshaw was second.

Team regulars who are not part of this year’s championship squad, Nic Tustain and Debbie Criddle, started their individual medal campaign in style. Nic and Debbie took the grade 2 and 3 respectively on their old campaigners Hot Stuff and Figaro IX.

Simon Laurens finished third in the grade three on his team debut, while Michelle Crunkhorn was fifth in the grade four.

The small tour CDI that was to run alongside the World Championships has been cancelled due to torrential rain flooding the outdoor arenas. The CDI big tour finishes tonight (20 July) and all the paradressage will take place indoors tomorrow.

Don’t miss Horse&Hound 26 July for a full report of the World Championships