Pippa Funnell tops the leader board at the end of the dressage phase at Blenheim International Horse Trials. Funnell and Ensign, who finished ninth at Blenheim last year, performed an exceptional test yesterday afternoon, scoring an unbeatable 40.4 pen. As the competitors head off to walk to course this evening, British riders hold the first nine positions — their stronghold only threatened by America’s Amy Tryon in 10th place.

After the excitement of Jo May’s 44 pen test this morning, this afternoon was tense with a succession of scores in the 50s and 60s failing to threaten Funnell’s lead. Only William Fox-Pitt, last to go on Parkmore Ed (pictured), made an impact on the top 10 places. A flashy and accurate test ridden test earned a 46.9 pen score from the judges, putting him into equal fourth position, ahead of his first ride Birthday Night in fifth.

But the leader board will not doubt change dramatically by the end of tomorrow when the competitors will all have negotiated Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross-country course. The first competitor will be on the course at 11:15 am tomorrow morning.

Leader board after dressage phase

1. Pippa Funnell (Ensign) 40.4 pen
2. Jo May (Fairie Vision) 44 pen
3. Daisy Dick (Springbok IV) 46 pen
=4. Jeanette Brakewell (Equinox Sidewinder) 46.9 pen
=4. William Fox-Pitt (Parkmore Ed) 46.9 pen
6. William Fox-Pitt (Birthday Night) 47.3 pen
7. Olivia Haddow (Patris Filius) 47.9 pen
8. Rodney Powell (Major Sweep) 49.6 pen
9. Louisa Brassey (Bruce Rock) 50 pen
10. Amy Tryon (Le Samurai) 50.4 pen