German rider Simone Deitermann is leading the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on the completion of the dressage phase.

Simone (pictured) produced a classy test with the attractive, big-moving Free Easy NRW on her first visit to the event to score 39.3pen. The only minor errors were a loss of rhythm in the extended trot and a change of leg in counter canter, which was quickly corrected.

Simone said: “He felt really nervous when he came into the arena, so I was pleased he did a good job. He is nervous in England on grass, but not on Germany where we ride on sand.”

Overnight leader William Fox-Pitt is in 2nd place with Parklane Hawk on 39.7 despite halting at the wrong marker on his final centre line yesterday, while Mary King is 3rd with her Kentucky Rolex winner Kings Temptress on 42.2.

Mary said: “She has always been very consistent in the dressage, but she is getting more able to produce flashier work. But I wouldn’t have been able to produce that test without my trainer Ferdie Eilberg being here to help.”

Just 0.1pen behind is Andrew Nicholson with Nereo. Andrew demonstrated all his experience to conjure a great test from this 11-year-old chestnut gelding, who looked a little green in the flying changes.

Andrew shares 5th place on his other ride, Avebury, with reigning Burghley champion Caroline Powell and Lenamore on 42.8pen. Caroline had errors of course in both her tests, turning right instead of left after the left half-pass with Lenamore and forgetting an 8m circle yesterday with Mrs Tilly. But she refused to be flustered and Lenamore kept the lid on his enthusiasm for a consistent test otherwise.

Thoughts on the cross-country course

The riders are agreed that Mark Phillips’ cross-country course is big and bold, but less technical than in previous years.

William Fox-Pitt said: “It’s a big track that needs a brave horse. If things don’t go to plan, it won’t be forgiving. But it’s all there in front of you and if you have a horse who enjoys his job, it should ride well.”

And Elizabeth Power, in 7th place with Kilpatrick River on 43.3pen, said: “I’m happy my horse has got plenty of scope — I wouldn’t want to be riding something short of scope.”

With a course of 11min40sec (6,686 metres) facing the riders tomorrow, one thing is for sure — Burghley 2011 is not going to be a dressage competition.

Don’t forget to buy Horse & Hound next week (8 September) for our 10-page special Burghley report including comments from course-designer Mark Phillips, analysis of every phase and the full leader board.

Follow Burghley as it happens with H&H Live. Visit www.horseandhound.co.uk/burghley2011live to re-live the dressage action and join in tomorrow.

DRESSAGE RESULTS

1. Free Easy NRW (Simone Deitermann, GER) 39.3
2. Parklane Hawk (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 39.7
3. Kings Temptress (Mary King, GB) 42.2
4. Nereo (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 42.3
5eq. Avebury (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 42.8
5eq. Lenamore (Caroline Powell, NZL) 42.8
7. Kilpatrick River (Elizabeth Power, IRE) 43.3
8. Apache Sauce (Mary King, GB) 44.8
9. Phoebus (Laurence Hunt, GB) 45.3
10eq. Happy Times (Sam Griffiths, AUS) 45.5
10eq. Neuf Des Coeurs (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 45.5