Predictably, the leaderboard has quickly changed on day two of the dressage for the WEG eventing championship.
With some disappointing scores to redeem from her British team mates the day before, Zara Phillips rode with immense calmness and maturity on Toytown in her first world championship. Having warmed up under the guidance of her step-mother Sandy rather than the team dressage trainer Tracey Robinson, she scored an excellent 41.7pens. Her father Mark thought it was not the horse at his very best, and Zara agreed that he was “tense in the halt before the rein back, and could have been straighter at times,” but she looked happy and relaxed about her performance.
Bettina Hoy on Ringwood Cockatoo. Picture Trevor Meeks
But Bettina Hoy entered the stadium to a rousing cheer on Ringwood Cockatoo with a whole different level of impulsion and rhythm. She blew the rest of the field out of the water with a faultless 36.5pens, the first rider to break the 40 barrier. “I was really really pleased,” she said afterwards. “You never know if the atmosphere will get to him, but he wasnt affected at all.” Asked by H&H if riding in front of her home crowd was extra fun or extra pressure, she replied instantly, “Extra fun. As a German you always dream of riding here in Aachen, but as an eventer you dont normally get the chance to do it.”
Her teammate Ingrid Klimke rides later today, along with William Fox-Pitt on Tamarillo, and Britains second individual rider Oliver Townend.
Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound for in-depth reports on all the action in Aachen