Kyra Kyrklund and Max came out top of a large grand prix field at the College EC Premier League in Bedfordshire, scoring 71.39% in only the horse’s fourth grand prix.
Max, a 10-year-old Swedish gelding by Kyra’s former prospective Olympic ride, Master, is jointly owned by his rider and Yvette Conn.
“He’s really progressing well,” said the Sussex-based international trainer. “I wanted to bring him here before we go abroad, so the win makes me feel that we’re on track.
“We’ve been working on the canter at home, so although we had a mistake in the one-times, the two-time changes were much better today. His piaffe was very good, too.”
Kyra and Max will next compete at the CDI Wiesbaden in Germany.
Athens Olympic team members Nicola McGivern and Active Walero came a close second on 71.25%, and Henriette Andersen and her stallion Astonish were third on just under 70%.
German judge Dr Dieter Schüle, who presided over the class of 25, found the standard good.
“The first six or seven were of international standard,” he said. “And the top three were very good. Max demonstrates good passage and Kyra is an experienced and clever rider who produces a good trot.”
Sadly, not many of the grand prix riders stayed on over the weekend to take part in the freestyle and special.
“I think it’s a pity,” said Dr Schüle, “because freestyle is so very good for the horses. It would have been nice to have seen more of these horses tackle that, too.”
This left the way clear for Maria Eilberg and her father Ferdi’s Two Sox to win both the freestyle and the special by a good margin. The pair was also fourth in the grand prix.