Jock Paget is on course to score a Badminton-Burghley double after taking the lead following the dressage in the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

Riding Frances Stead’s 15-year-old Badminton winner Clifton Promise, by Engagement, New Zealander Jock performed a smooth test with no mistakes and garnered a 10 in the mid-test halt. He scored 36.7.

“I thought this test was better than at Badminton — I went for too much at the beginning at Badminton and the canter work wasn’t as good as it could have been, but this was more consistent,” said Jock.

Asked about his plan for tomorrow’s cross-country, Jock said he hadn’t firmed up his routes yet, but added: “I’m here to win and I’m going to do whatever I can to win it.”

Ingrid Klimke, who led last night on FRH Butts Abraxxas, still holds second for Germany.

NicholsonA_BurghPN7195No one else broke the 40-barrier today and New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson, the final competitor of the day, moved into 3rd with Deborah Sellar’s Nereo on a mark of 41.3. He too said his performance was a step up on Badminton in the spring.

“His work was more polished and correct today. There were some very flash moments at Badminton, but also some hiccups,” said Andrew.

William Fox-Pitt is the best Brit in 4th on Catherine Witt’s 2011 winner Parklane Hawk. Two more Thursday tests sit in equal 5th, Jock again on Clifton Lush and Andreas Dibowski (Germany) on FRH Butts Leon.

Bettina Hoy riding Lanfranco TSF during the dressage at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2013Bettina Hoy had the worst time in the dressage today. Lanfranco TSF became nervous and was rearing as she tried to approach the arena. Having been coaxed in and through his trotwork, he then started rearing again when asked to rein-back and Bettina retired.

Course-designer Mark Phillips said today that riders had described the track as “perhaps more of a real four-star than some others we’ve seen recently.”

He believes most of the most difficult questions are in the first 7min of the course, until the Land Rover Dairy Farm at fence 19.

“After that the riders will be disappointed if they make a mistake on the way home,” he said. “I expect them to be down [on time] at 5min, then it’s a case of how much they can make up in the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th minute to 10min at the Burghley Station, as there isn’t much to opportunity to make up time after that.”

The optimum time is 11min 24sec. Cross-country tomorrow starts at 11.30am.

Join us for live written coverage of the cross-country tomorrow.

Buy H&H next week for full 18-page Burghley report, with full analysis, pictures of every cross-country fence and comments from Sally O’Connor, Lucinda Green and course-designer Mark Phillips.

RESULTS AFTER DRESSAGE

1. Jock Paget on Clifton Promise (NZL) 36.7

2. Ingrid Klimke on FRH Butts Abraxxas (GER) 39

3. Andrew Nicholson on Nereo (NZL) 41.3

4. William Fox-Pitt on Parklane Hawk (GBR) 41.5

5eq. Jock Paget on Clifton Lush (GER) 42

5eq. Andreas Dibowski on FRH Butts Leon (GER) 42

Full results and times

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