Pippa Funnell produced a belting test from Mirage D’Elle — a horse who finds this phase difficult — on the first morning’s dressage at Malmo’s European Eventing Championships. She lies 4th individually at the halfway stage of the first day’s dressage on 47.6pen.

Pippa admitted to being hugely nervous before this test, and was thrilled to deliver a mark in the 40s: “I know he’s not going to trouble the leaders, but he finds this hard and I just wanted to achieve the best that he could.”

The current leader is German’s Dirk Schrade, who delivered a soft, polished test as the first to go for a mark of 44.2pen. “He doesn’t have excellent paces, but he gave his best,” said a very satisfied Dirk. “Every second he was with me.”

Britain’s second team rider, Lucy Wiegersma, rides later this afternoon, with fellow team members William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook and individual Izzy Taylor following tomorrow.

Leaders at half way stage, first day’s dressage: 

  1. Dirk Schrade (GER), Hop and Skip, 44.2pen
  2. Frida Andersen (SWE), Herta, 46pen
  3. Arnaud Boiteau (FRA), Quoriano ENE HN, 47.4pen
  4. Pippa Funnell (GBR), Mirage D’Elle, 47.6pen
  5. Anna Hasso (SWE), Clover, 50.2pen