Two Australian riders lead the way at Blenheim Horse Trials following two days of dressage. Andrew Hoy heads the CCI3* on Cheeky Calimbo (pictured top), while Badminton winner Sam Griffiths is out in front in the eight/nine-year-old CIC3* aboard Favorit Z.

“I’ve set the benchmark and to win this event I have to finish on that score,” said Andrew. He earnt a mark of 34 from the dressage judges on the 12-year-old who won Luhmühlen’s CIC3* in June.

“Tomorrow’s [cross-country course] is going to be a big test. There’s a lot of jumping to do and there are some big fences out there,” he added. “People think [the terrain at] Blenheim is flat but it’s not, so it will be difficult to get the time.”

Emily King occupies the runner-up spot with Brookleigh (Brook) on 35.4. This is their first outing since the pair suffered a rotational fall at the Junior European Championships last month.

“He’s fine [after that] and I’m fine,” confirmed Emily. “Brook felt on the button in the [dressage] warm-up. If anything being in an atmosphere helps him because it gives him extra spark.”

Emily is competing at this level for the first time and her mother, five-time British Olympian Mary King, is her groom for the weekend.

William Fox-Pitt is 0.4 of a penalty behind in third place on Fernhill Pimms, the winner of last year’s CIC***, while Francis Whittington lies fourth on his Badminton ride Easy Target. William also occupies fifth riding Freddie Mac.

The cross-country phase for this class starts at 9.30am tomorrow, Saturday 13 September.

Eight/nine-year-old CIC***

In the eight/nine-year-old class, Sam Griffiths has a 2.7pens lead over Tim Lips (Bayro), who was a part of the bronze medal-winning Dutch team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

France’s Thomas Carlile lies third on Sirocco Du Gers.

Nicola Wilson is currently best placed of the Brits in fifth with Ngong Hills, a fraction behind Aussie Brook Staples and Doonaveeragh O Six. Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class share ninth place with Jock Paget (Clifton Signature) and Kevin McNab (Caspereli).

The showjumping for this class takes place tomorrow afternoon, with the first horse jumping at 4pm. The final cross-country phase will happen on Sunday.

Stay up to date with the action with daily reports on HorseandHound.co.uk and don’t miss our full report in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 18 September