The British young rider team trails in last place at the close of the first day’s dressage at the European Championships at Blair. Emily Galbraith (Crown Alliance) posted the best of the team’s marks – 52.8 – in 15th place, while individual rider Nicola Wilson (Oingy Boingy) currently lies in fifth on 47.4.

The Germans posted a typically imperious display in this phase, with their riders, Sabrine Mertens (Divolo) and Sandra Auffarth (Nobel Prince Old) topping the field on 44.2 and 44.4 respectively. France’s Sanny Merle lies 1pen behind in third on Hero Des Templiers.

Although Britain is left playing catch-up, they are only at the halfway stage of phase one, and their strong cross-country prowess should come into play over Ronald Alexander’s track.

Unfamiliar names may abound in the young rider section, but it was the old stalwarts who monopolise the CCI** at this early stage. Andrew Nicholson continued his good season by taking first and second slots. He leads with Epic, on 41.6, while his Nereo and William Fox-Pitt’s All That Jazz V share second on 43.1.

Nick Gauntlett held on to Wednesday’s lead, with just a handful of riders left to complete the second day’s dressage of the CCI*. His stallion, Chillie Morning, scored an excellent 37.1, to hold Jodie Amos (Altairs Luck) at bay by nearly 4pen.

Glorious and rare sunshine beat down on Blair’s first two days of competition. After the previous weekend’s rain, the ground is reported to be spot-on.