Germany’s Ingrid Klimke, a leading exponent in this phase, is – predictably – in pole position after the first day of dressage in the three-star three-day event at Luhmuhlen, northern Germany.
Ingrid, who was best German rider and finished third individually in the Olympic team competition last year, is the only daughter of Dr Reiner Klimke, Germany’s most medalled ever dressage rider and an Olympic champion.
Riding Robinson’s Concord,already a CIC winner this year, she scored the good mark of 37.6 to head the 85-strong field. However, Finland’s only top rider, Pia Pantsu, is breathing down her neck, just 0.2 of a penalty away, on Karuso. France’s Michel Bouquet is third on Elegant Du Brule, a successful combination at two-star level, are third on 44.
British best in fourth place
Darrell Scaife is best of the British contingent, equal fourth with Bettina Overesch on her European Championship hope Unsung Hero, on 44.8. Darrell rides course-designer Sue Benson’s Chase The Melody – Sue is currently (and reluctantly!) on a family holiday in Greece where she will no doubt be chewing her nails. Chase The Melody is a classy Thoroughbred who should have gone to Saumur last month but was prevented due to a minor injury.
Swiss rider and judge Christian Landolt is sixth on Tina’s Gold (46.2), a horse purchased from Lucinda Fredericks who won Blair Castle on him. Andrew Hoy, who has been based in Germany during the foot and mouth crisis, is seventh on Ringwood Cockatoo (46.4).
Polly Stockton is the next best Brit, scoring 54.2 on her new ride Eyespy ll, a horse she has conceded is not as easy to ride as he looked under Mark Todd.
Ian Wills is lying22nd on the Cleveland Bay stallion Pembridge Minstrel (56), while it has been a somewhat disastrous start for Capt Richard Waygood, who had two errors of course on Master Fred, and Christie Lomax, who scored 70 on Carbon Copy.
First out today, at 7.30am, was Pippa Funnell on Jurassic Rising. Luhmuhlen can be followed on its website: www.luhmuehlen.de