The British young rider team failed to improve on Thursday’s mediocre dressage performance to head on to Saturday’s cross-country in lowly seventh place.

The Germans lead with two of their riders in the top three – Sabrine Mertens (Divolo) and Sandra Auffarth (Nobel Prince Old). The Dutchman Huub van der Mark tops the field on Exquis Idem Du Roc with 43.2.

Emily Galbraith (pictured) remains the best of the British team, having slipped to equal 18th on Crown Alliance, while individual rider Nicola Wilson has dropped two places to lie in seventh on Oingy Boingy.

Germany (138.4) has a 4pen lead over France, which is in turn 9pen clear of The Netherlands. Britain is 25pen off the pace, and with the two top teams both fielding four riders, the Brits will need their share of luck to get within a shout of the medals.

William Fox-Pitt stamped his class on the CCI*** and CCI** sections. He leads both on the eve of cross-country on a score of 41.3 — with Macchiato and Bee Animas respectively. Matt Ryan trails by less than 3pen in the CCI*** on the slick jumping machine, Slight of Hand, ahead of joint-thirds Oliver Townend (Golden Hue) and Lucy Wiegersma (Woodfalls Pure Gold).

In the CCI**, Fox-Pitt took control of the section that was last night headed by Andrew Nicholson (Epic). He and Nicholson also share third place.

The CCI* featured a shake-up of the final dressage placings on their cross-country test. Last night’s third, Neil Spratt and Solo Voyage, sped into first place, relegating the overnight leader Nick Gauntlett (Chillie Morning) into third. Sara Mayberry (Hownam Law) lies in second place.

The one-star track did not produce too many jumping problems, but the hills tested horses’ fitness to the limit – especially when this summer’s weather has played havoc with their schedules.

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