Husband and wife team Bettina and Andrew Hoy dominate the leader board after the dressage phase at Pau, the French four-star.
Bettina was the only rider to break the 40-barrier. Riding her old campaigner Ringwood Cockatoo (pictured) she scored 33.7 to establish a 7.2 penalty lead over her husband, who rides 2006 Badminton winner Moonfleet.
Ruth Edge came nearest to giving the Hoys a run for their money today. She lies just 0.2 of a penalty behind Andrew riding Mr Dumbledore, with whom she led the dressage at Burghley this year but retired cross-country.
Ruth has a second horse in the top 10 — Mayhem III, British open winner and dressage leader at the abandoned Blenheim, lies seventh.
Mary King was first in the arena this morning with her Olympic partner Call Again Cavalier and they held the lead for some time before succumbing to the Hoys. They now lie fourth.
Three more Brits hold equal ninth place — Emily Baldwin (Drivetime), Jo May (Faere Vision) and Kitty Boggis (Boondoggle).
The riders will tackle Pierre Michelet’s cross-country course tomorrow. William Fox-Pitt reports on his website that, “The course is quite serious and although it is 11min 20sec it is a quick, fast thinking course and I think it will be difficult to find a rhythm in the beginning. Although it is not enormous, it is quite a decent track.”
William lies 13th equal with Idalgo, making a return to the big time after time off with injury, while Pippa Funnell and Ensign, third here last year, are close behind in 15th.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report from Pau in next Thursday’s magazine (30 October) with colour pictures and William Fox-Pitt’s comment.
RESULTS AFTER DRESSAGE
1. Ringwood Cockatoo (Bettina Hoy, GER) 33.7
2. Moonfleet (Andrew Hoy, AUS) 40.9
3. Mr Dumbledore (Ruth Edge, GB) 41.1
4. Call Again Cavalier (Mary King, GB) 42.6
5. Little Paint (Frank Ostholt, GER) 42.8
6. Kaline De Dun (Lionel Guyon, FRA) 43.5