Britain’s Ruth Edge is in her customary position after the dressage – in the lead – at the CCI**** in Pau, France. But she shares the top mark of 41.8 with Belgian rider Karin Donckers, another to excel in this phase.

Ruth is riding Two Thyme, with whom she also led the dressage at Burghley this year (see picture, right) before retiring across country. She was a little disappointed with her mark, saying: “We haven’t been in the 40s for a long time, and I thought he was better than at Burghley. The judge at C was very stingy!”

Karin Donckers, who was fourth individually at the World Equestrian Games last month, is competing the 10-year-old Lamicell Charizard in his first four-star. The pair were second in the World Cup event at Haras du Pin on their last outing.

Britain has a good grip on the top placings, with six riders in the top 10. Sharon Hunt lies third on her experienced Luhmuhlen winner Tankers Town, who scored 42.8, just ahead of American Boyd Martin, competing in Europe for the first time, on 43.2 with Remington XXV.

German rider Kai Ruder and Leprince Des Bois put up another good four-star score of 44.2 – not quite as good as their leading mark at Badminton this spring of 33.8, however. Sixth are Oliver Townend and ODT Master Rose on 45.8.

Lucy Wiegersma is seventh on 46.5 with Simon Porloe, another making a four-star debut. “There’s so much more to come from him,” said Lucy. “He’s lovely to ride – so well-balanced – and his canter is a joy to sit on.”

Emily Baldwin and Drivetime didn’t quite pull off the test they can do at this level, changing leads in the extended canter, and Emily looked disappointed with 46.7 and eighth place.

William Fox-Pitt was another to suggest that the dressage judges weren’t being exactly generous when he picked up 48 with Navigator, but said that the strong cross-country track meant it was unlikely to be a dressage competition.

Nick Gauntlett is 11th for Britain on Elektron, scoring 51, just behind the best-placed French rider, Pascal Leroy (Glenburny Du Leou).

Paul Horse Trials results after dressage

1= Ruth Edge (Two Thyme) 41.8
1= Karin Donckers (Lamicell Charizard) 41.8
3 Sharon Hunt (Tankers Town) 42.8
4 Boyd Martin (Remington XXV) 43.2
5 Kai Ruder (Leprince Des Bois) 44.2
6 Oliver Townend (ODT Master Rose) 45.8
7 Lucy Wiegersma (Simon Porloe) 46.5
8 Emily Baldwin (Drivetime) 46.7
9 William Fox-Pitt (Navigator) 48
10 Pascal Leroy (Glenburny Du Leou) 48.8

Read H&H’s full report on all the action from Pau in next Thursday’s magazine, on sale 11 November, 2010