Australia’s Jessica Irvine-Brown sweeps ahead after first day of dressage at Blenheim
Australia’s Jessica Irvine-Brown took everyone by surprise by storming into the lead of Thursday’s dressage phase at Blenheim horse trials.
An impressive score of 46.01 aboard her 15.3hh,
13-year-old mare Belcam Aaberdeen, meant that Jessica headed France’s experienced campaigner Jean Lou Bigot, who had impressed the judges, Sue Harry-Thomas, David Lee and Christian Landolt, much earlier in the proceedings by scoring 50.0 on Nogency.
Another relative unknown, Viktoria Carlerback from Sweden, lies in third with a score of 51.41 on Onyx, while Milla Clayton-Bailey and Zarzoo are the highest placed British pair in fourth.
Continuing the international flavour of the proceedings, Kiwi Neil Spratt is in fifth with his 2001 Thirlestane CIC** winner Cosmos.
Lucinda Green, who made a return to three-day eventing at Blenheim last year, once again partners the mare Miss De Meena IV and she is well poised in sixth, ahead of overseas trio Ashley MacVaugh (All¡s Fair) from America, Ikko Murakami (Voyou Du Roc) from Japan and Tord Westergren (Surprize) from Sweden.
William Fox-Pitt is the highest placed former winner of this event – he pulled off a one-two here in 2000 – in equal 17th with Ballincolla.
Many of these placings could change, of course, with a full day of action in the dressage arena taking place on Friday, with Mary King, Andrew Nicholson and European Champion and Badminton winner Pippa Funnell all vying to capture Blenheim’s 2002 crown.
Don’t miss our daily updates from Blenheim throughout the event