British riders dominate the leader board at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials as the first day of dressage draws to a close.
Brampton based Ruth Edge (nee Friend) is the current leader with the striking black gelding Muschamp Impala. The pair produced an accurate and consistent test to score 45.9pen. Edge was delighted with Muschamp Impala, who she co-owns with Ann Murray and has produced from scratch.
Olympic Gold medallist Leslie Law (pictured below) is the nearest contender on a score of 50.2pen. Law rode a calm and mistake-free test with Shear H20, on whom he was fifth at Burghley last year. Having withdrawn his second ride Shear LEau in view of the fact he is now running in the European Championships at Blenheim next weekend, Law is no longer involved in Friday’s dressage.
“I can relax now until Saturday,” he says, “then I can be sick!”.
Rodney Powell and Liquid Ice are lying close behind Law on a score of 50.6pen. The 17hh grey gelding, on whom Powell finished fifth at Barbury Castle in July, made an eye-catching picture in the dressage arena and impressed the judges with some strong lateral work. Another Brit, Sharon Hunt from Bury St Edmunds is currently in sixth position with her chestnut gelding Tankers Town. Hunt rode a calm, yet bold test, to score 53pen.
New Zealands Andrew Nicholson and Australias Phillip Dutton are the only overseas riders to make the top six placings. Nicholson (Duddles) is lying in fourth position on a score of 52.4pen. The pair has been on excellent form recently, finishing ninth at Brockenhurst and fifth at Gatcombe last month. Dutton (The Foreman) is currently in sixth place with 53.1pen.
With only 7.2pen between the top six riders, and 33 still to ride, including British hopefuls Mary King (Call Again Cavalier) and William Fox-Pitt (Ballincoola), the second dressage day will no doubt alter the overnight leader board dramatically.
Results after dressage day one
1. MUSCHAMP IMPALA Ruth Edge
2. SHEAR H2O Leslie Law
3. LIQUID ICE Rodney Powell
4. DUDDLES Andrew Nicholson
5. TANKERS TOWN Sharon Hunt
6. THE FOREMAN Phillip Dutton
=7. MASTER MONARCH Andrew Hoy
=7. UTHER PENDRAGON II Abigail Walters
9. AUTUMN SKY Eddy Stibbe
10. PENNY ROYAL III Marie Ryan
11. LIMESTONE RISE Polly Jackson
12. RONGOTAI Nick Turner
13. SKIVER Nicola Tweddle
14. HEADWIND Kristina Cook
15. HALLO AGAIN Laura Fortune
16. EASE ON FIRE Joe Meyer
17. ARTHURS WORD Nick Gauntlett
18. BRIARLANDS BLACKBERRY Tristram Owers
19. FAIRFAX Rodolphe Scherer
20. GINGER CHARLIE Claire Phillips
21. SALINO 23 Hans-Heinrich Held
22. GOULTON STORM Carole Dennis
23. PRIVATE TREATY Buck Davidson
24. COOL KIWI Ann Hatton
25. FREETOWN Imtiaz Anees
26. YOUNG THOMAS Neil Fox
27. GOOD ENOUGH John-Paul Sheffield
28. HOWECOT PSAMMITE Julie Lawson
29. R J MAXI Sue Chadwick
* Images courtesy of Burghley Horse Trials