It was all stars and stripes as competition got underway at the quintessentially English Gatcombe Park this afternoon, as the American Olympians showed their true colours

While spectators are eagerly awaiting the commencement of the British Open Championship tomorrow, today’s Cantor Odds Advanced Section 2 turned into something of an American National Championship.

The latter part of the afternoon held an all-star American line-up, and as time wore on, the stars and stripes dominated the leaderboard to an increasing extent.

By the end of play, world eventing number two Kim Severson led the field. She exuded elegance in her test on Winsome Adante, her Olympic ride, to finish one penalty ahead of her compatriot Darren Chiacchia on Windfall 2.

Kim and Winsome Adante are a serious threat to the British Olympians on this, their Olympic debut, and are considered the key to the American campaign. The combination proved their form at Lexington earlier this year with a convincing victory, and Kim’s meteoric rise to the top of the eventing world bears testament to her determination and talent.

The American team took the eight top spots, with veteran David O’Connor producing an immaculate test on Outlawed showing the youngsters who are heading off to Athens just how it should be done.

The rest of the competitors in this section will be relieved to know that the American team don’t intend to run cross-country tomorrow, so that Sharon Hunt with Tanker’s Town, and youngster Oliver Townend, who is part of the World Class Start and Potential Squad snapping at her heels, just 0.6 penalties behind on Jungle Diva Blue.

Marie Ryan is in a good position in both advanced sections, for while she stands in equal twelfth in section 2 on Hi Fi, she is in second place in section 1. Leader of this section is Jo May with Faere Vision. This combination’s impressive dressage has been a feature of the season, but they have little in hand going into the final two phases tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in the EHOA Martin Collins Novice Championship, Clayton Fredericks has yet to relinquish the lead that he took at midday on Tennyson. However, less than four penalties separate the top ten in this class, and with the dressage not yet over, rivalry is likely to be fierce tomorrow, as competitors vie for the crown which has launched eventing careers in the past.

Advanced results after Friday’s dressage
Section 1.
1. Faere Vision (Jo May) 29.8
2. Sparrow Hall (Marie Ryan) 33.3
3. Sloopy (John Williams USA) 33.7
4. Capuchin (Claire Phillips) 33.7
5. Plantagenet of Rushall (Louisa Brassey) 33.9
6. Norwegian Connection (Bill Levett AUS) 34.4

Section 2.
1. Winsome Adante (Kim Severson USA) 28.5
2. Windfall 2 (Darren Chiacchia USA) 29.6
3. Outlawed (David O’Connor USA) 32.6
4. My Beau (Amy Tryon USA) 32.8
5. Carrick (John Williams USA) 34.3
6. Northern Spy (Heidi White USA) 35.0