Britain’s team sit fourth after the dressage in the eventing Nations Cup in Aachen today (Friday, 15 July), but they are less than nine penalties behind the leaders.

The quartet performed very consistently, finishing within 3.4 penalties of each other.

Tina Cook leads the way with 14th place (44.1) on Pip and Ailsa Wates and Equine Aqua Training’s Calvino II.

“He’s really coming on and improving all the time,” she said. “For an insecure little horse he coped with the atmosphere really well and didn’t let it affect him. He tried his best and there’s more to come. I’m really pleased with him.”

Aachen debutant Franky Reid-Warrilow was proud of her mare Dolley Whisper, who scored 44.9. for 15th after this phase

“She’s progressed through the year and each test has got better,” she said. “I’ve never been somewhere like this — there aren’t a lot of spectators in there, but warming up next to Michael Jung changes everything. There were tiny errors which we can improve on, but she enjoyed it and was really rideable.”

British pathfinder Laura Collett scored 46.9 with Diana Chappell’s Grand Manoeuvre. She sits 19th.

“He was really good — a little bit tense, but he got better and better throughout the test,” she said. “Down the far end of the arena there’s quite a lot of noise behind the grandstand and that unsettled him because he couldn’t see what it was.”

Final rider Nicola Wilson holds 21st with Gerry and Mary Kemp and Janine Shewan’s One Two Many, who changed legs in his first counter canter.

“He wasn’t quite as generous as he could have been — he can have a loss of concentration and has that cheekiness in him,” she said. “Overall I’m quite pleased, but it was a very expensive break.”

‘Naughty’ High Kingdom

British individual Zara Tindall had a difficult ride on Trevor Hemmings’ High Kingdom, who did some good work but was tense at times, cantering in his early trotwork and then stopping and backing up at one point in canter. Her 58.3 leaves her 39th of the 42 competitors.

“He was naughty today,” she said. “He never used to be like that, but you can’t put a lot of work into him, otherwise he gets tired and gets even more annoyed.”

The Germans are leading the way, holding seven of the top 10 places, although with their best riders competing as individuals they do not have the upper hand in the team standings.

Bettina Hoy is first and third with Seigneur Medicott (31) and Designer 10 (36.7).

“For Seigneur Medicott it’s easy, but Designer has to work harder,” she said. “Seigneur Medicott has always been very rideable and you can always ask for the movements in the test. Designer’s whole structure is different and he gets tired in his back, so to do a test like that he tries so hard — if there’s one horse for trying, it’s him.”

Michael Jung is best of the German team in 10th on La Biosthetique-Sam GBW, with FischerTakinou FST (his likely Olympic ride) in fourth. The German team hold second.

Australia are leading the team competition, headed by Chris Burton on Nobilis 18 (eighth), while Jonelle Price’s individual second on Faerie Dianimo spearheads the New Zealand effort — the Kiwis are in third.

Individual results after dressage

Team results after dressage

1st. Australia 127.8

2nd. Germany 128.5

3rd. New Zealand 134.2

4th. Great Britain 135.9

5th. USA 143.1

6th. The Netherlands 149.1

7th. France 152.4

8th. Ireland 157.1

9th. Sweden 170.5

Full report of Aachen in H&H next week, out 21 July.