Dirk Schrade takes early lead in Olympic eventing at Greenwich

  • German rider Dirk Schrade has a clear lead in the eventing dressage on the first day of the London Olympics.

    He scored 39.8 on King Artus to head the leaderboard at lunch time, picking up the first 10 of the Games for his final halt.

    “I expected him to be a bit more excited in there, but he was listening to me and concentrating,” said Dirk. “That was his best mark at four-star.”

    Second is Sam Griffifths, a late call-up for Australia, on Happy Times, who scored 43.4.

    “I made a few mistakes, but generally I’m thrilled with him. I’ve worked for years to get here,” said Sam.

    He is just half a mark away from his team-mate Christopher Burton, third with HP Leilani on 46.10.

    Christopher was second into the arena this morning — after America’s Boyd Martin and Otis Barbotiere — and the judges seemed reluctant to award high scores until Dirk Schrade’s test persuaded them to hit the “nine” button.

    Nicola Wilson, the first British rider to go, seemed slightly harshly marked on Opposition Buzz for 51.7 and ninth place at this stage. But she refused to be downhearted, saying: “He produced the best test he could have done today. It was mistake-free and I’m very proud of him.”

    Karen O’Connor and a rather excited Mr Medicott are fourth for America with 48.2, just 0.1pen ahead of Belgian rider Virginie Caulier and Nepal Du Sudre.

    Sixth are the popular Canadian partnership of Hayley Bennett-Awad and Gin N Juice (48.7), while Irish team debutants Aoife Clark and Master Crusoe did a good test for seventh and 48.9.

    Boyd Martin and Otis Barbotiere are eighth, a mark ahead of Nicola Wilson with 50.7.

    At the tail end of the leaderboard is Russian rider Andrei Korshunov, who had difficulties persuading Fabiy to do anything except stick his head in the air and scored 80.2.

    Britain’s Mary King and Imperial Cavalier are the first combination to go after lunch, at 2.30pm.

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    Don’t miss H&H’s full report of the Olympic eventing, in the issue on sale FRIDAY 3 August – 23-page special report, with comments from Ruth Edge, Pippa Funnell and Mark Phillips, pictures of every cross-country fence, stunning photos and full analysis.

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