Australia leads the way at the Fidelity Blenheim International Horse Trials where Christopher Burton and Tim Boland lie first and second at the top of the CCI*** leaderboard after dressage.
Christopher, who is riding Andrew Macpherson and Marianne Lichtwark’s Underdiscussion, with whom he won Tattersalls CCI** and Aachen CIC*** earlier this year, posted 31.8pen — the only mark in the low 30s.
“He gave me a fantastic ride — he’s a lovely horse,” said Christopher, for whom this is a first visit to the Oxfordshire event. “I haven’t watched his test back yet, but he must have been given some good marks as we made a little mistake breaking in the half-pass.”
Tim Boland and his own GV Billy Elliot lie second on 35.2, just 0.6 of a penalty ahead of Germany’s Ingrid Klimke (Tabasco).
The word is that Eric Winter’s cross-country track, which runs in an anti-clockwise direction this time, is a tougher test than in previous years.
Christopher Burton, who is also the rider rep, said: “It’s a proper three-star with questions all the way round. I think the double of corners out of the lake (fences 16ab) will take some riding and there are a couple of tricky combinations near the end.”
Andrew Nicholson heads a strong eight- and nine-year-old CIC*** field with Deborah Sellars’ Quimbo on a score of 35.1. Piggy French and West Side lie second on 36.3, ahead of Bettina Hoy (Designer 10) in third.
Tomorrow’s CCI*** cross-country starts at 11am, while showjumping for the eight- and nine-year-old CIC*** will begin at 9am.
Results after dressage: CCI***
1. Christopher Burton on Underdiscussion (AUS) 31.8
2. Tim Boland on GV Billy Elliot (AUS) 35.2
3. Ingrid Klimke on Tabasco (GER) 35.8
4. Lucy Wiegersma on Simon Porloe (GB) 38.6
5. William Fox-Pitt on Seacookie (GB) 39
6. Mark Todd on Conair (NZ) 39.6
7. Andrew Nicholson on Viscount George (NZ) 40
8. Emily Baldwin on Drivetime (GB) 41
9. Marilyn Little-Meredith on RF Rovano Rex (USA) 41.2
10. Kitty King on Zidante (GB) 41.6
1. Andrew Nicholson on Quimbo (NZ) 35.1
2. Piggy French on West Side (GB) 36.3
3. Bettina Hoy on Designer 10 (GER) 40.8
4. William Fox-Pitt on Bay My Hero (GER) 42
5. Sammi McLeod on LG Wellington (AUS) 43.2
=6. Gemma Tattersall on Chico Bella P (GB) 43.8
=6. Izzy Taylor on KBIS Starchaser (GB) 43.8
8. Susanna Bordone on Amacuzzi (ITA) 45.6
9. Piggy French on Kiltealy Brief (GB) 45.9
10. Dani Evans on Raphael II (GB) 47.1