Ruth Edge has taken up her customary position at the top of the dressage leaderboard at the Fidelity Blenheim International Horse Trials. She not only heads the CCI*** with Hugh Lawson’s Carnaval Prince II, but she also tops the table in the eight- and nine-year-old CIC*** class with the three-star debutant Applejack II.

“This was the best test he’s done,” said Ruth of Carnaval Prince. “He can sometimes come down the centre line, halt and then get tense. Today he felt very relaxed.”

Ruth will make a fleeting visit to Stoneleigh at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning where she is competing Charlesfield Dante and Zero in the medium open class at the Dressage Deluxe National Dressage Championships.

“It’s going to be a race against time to ge back here for cross-country, but I’ve made contingency plans — if the traffic is bad I’ve got my bike,” said Ruth.

William Fox-Pitt is second in the CCI*** with Catherine Witt’s Parklane Hawk, while Piggy French has two horses in the top 10. Her first day dressage leader, Michael Underwood and Wall French’s Chase The Moon, now lies third on a score of 46.2, while her other ride, Flying Machine, who won the inaugural eight- and nine-year-old CIC*** here last year, is handily placed in eighth on 47.6.

Eric Winter’s cross-country course has reverted back to its original direction and runs anti-clockwise around the park.

“There are plenty of technical questions and interesting lines, but the course looks fantastic and the going is as good as it gets,” said Ruth.

Sam Griffiths and Real Dancer, who finished third at Houghton’s CCI** this year, lie in second place behind Ruth in the CIC***, while Brook Staples and the 2008 British Novice Champion DHI Vitesse are in third.

The first of the 85 CCI*** dressage starters will set out on the cross-country at 10am, while showjumping for the CIC*** will take place at 4pm.

Results after dressage

CCI***
1st Ruth Edge on Carnaval Prince II (GB) 42.4
2nd William Fox-Pitt on Parkland Hawk (GB) 44
3rd Piggy French on Chase The Moon (GB) 46.2
4th Neil Spratt on Upleadon (NZ) 46.4
5th Peter Thomsen on Cayenne (GER) 46.6
=6th Matt Ryan on Maybee IV (AUS) 47.2
=6th Lucinda Fredericks on Prada (AUS) 47.2

CIC*** 8/9yo
1st Ruth Edge on Applejack II (GB) 42
2nd Sam Griffiths on Real Dancer (AUS) 43.2
3rd Brook Staples on DHI Vitesse (AUS) 44