Andreas Dibowski (pictured) has taken the lead in the four-star after a dramatic cross-country day at Luhmühlen, Germany.
The German was 12th after dressage, but one of only two clear rounds inside the time over Mark Phillips’s cross-country course catapulted him and his Olympic team gold medallist Euroridings Butts Leon to the head of affairs.
Andreas survived a dodgy moment at the double of corners at fence 21 (Manzke M) — he was thrown forward over the first corner, but managed to recover and jumped over the edge of the second.
Andreas thought he was clear and carried on, but there were rumours later he might be eliminated for not really jumping the second corner, although in the end the ground jury accepted he was penalty-free.
“I was in a little bit of doubt, but then I heard later from the loudspeaker that I’d got through, so I was relieved about that,” said Andreas.
The only other clear round inside the 10min 23sec optimum time came from 26-year-old German Michael Jung. The 2003 young rider European champion moved up from 14th to second with La Biosthetique-Sam FBW.
“It’s a first four-star for me and my horse, but this horse has never had a problem cross-country,” said Michael. “I got a really good feeling from my horse over the first jumps, so I just took it jump by jump.”
Two British riders have also shot up the leader board. Mary King now lies third on nine-year-old Kings Temptress, with Tina Cook just behind her on Miners Frolic.
Mary, who incurred just 3.2 time-penalties, said: “I bred her so I feel like a proud mother — I’ve looked after her since she first popped out. She went very smoothly today and was very obedient.”
The competition looked like a disaster in the early part of the day — only one of the first 11 horses finished — but there was a rush of better rounds in the middle of the competition. In the final analysis there were 17 finishers and 11 clear jumping rounds from 35 starters.
Problems were well spread with 11 different fences causing penalties. Among the most influential were the HSBC Hexagon Corner at fence 11, consisting of a hedge, ditch, turn to skinny hedge combination and the third of three angled skinnies in the arena (fence 20, Lottos Kleeblätter), which almost no one jumped on the straight route after Ireland’s George Russell had a nasty horse fall there with Young Man.
Despite all the problems, the only serious injury came in the CIC***, in which Italian rider Gabriele Savoini broke his left arm.
In that class Ingrid Klimke (FRH Butts Abraxxas) has taken the top spot, with Britain’s Ruth Edge now lying second on dressage leader PC Wilson, who had 8.4 time-penalties.
CCI**** RESULTS AFTER CROSS-COUNTRY
1. Andreas Dibowski on Euroridings Butts Leon (GER) 45.3
2. Michael Jung on La Biosthetique-Sam FBW (GER) 47
3. Mary King on Kings Temptress (GB) 49.7
4. Tina Cook on Miners Frolic (GB) 49.8
5. Dirk Schrade on Gadget De La Cere AA (GER) 50.9
6. William J Coleman on Twizzel (USA) 54.6
Don’t forget to buy Horse & Hound next Thursday (18 June) for a full report from Luhmühlen and Tina Cook’s comment.