Laura Collett third after Aachen eventing dressage: ‘He’s insecure and needs me to hold his hand’

Laura Collett holds third place for Britain after the dressage in the eventing competition, the SAP cup, in Aachen today (Friday, 19 July).

The British rider scored 22.9 for her foot-perfect test with her own, Karen Bartlett and Keith Scott’s London 52.

“That’s the test he should be doing — Bramham went a bit to pot, but here I gave myself a kick up the a*** and got my act together,” said Laura.

“At Bramham I was riding really cautiously because I know how good he is — I became a passenger. But he’s insecure and needs me to hold his hand in the arena.”

In the team standings, Britain lies second behind Germany, with New Zealand a close third. The home side’s effort is led by Ingrid Klimke, who scored 20.7 with SAP Hale Bob OLD to hold the individual honours.

“He’s such a wonderful horse — he knows the tests so well I can just sit there and enjoy it,” said Ingrid.

Gemma Tattersall is the second best-placed British rider, sitting 15th on 27.2 with Chris Stone’s Jalapeno, who joined her string this year. Her test was just marred by the mare throwing her head up in one of the canter serpentines.

“We are obviously still getting to know each other,” said Gemma. “I’ve got her sharper and more in front of me and she needs to get used to that in the arena — that was her way of saying, ‘Whoa, my hindlegs are doing something!’ It was super apart from that moment, but that put us on a tense flying change too, so that whole movement was lost.”

Piggy French contributes the third British counting score of 28.7 (21st) with Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo, but he looked a little lazy in the arena and the owner said it wasn’t his best test.

“We are slightly disappointed and when you are disappointed with a mark that starts with a 28, that shows you how much we think of the horse,” said Jayne.

Pathfinder Imogen Murray was pleased with her “clear round” with Aivar Ward and the MS Team’s Ivar Gooden, who is not known for his prowess in this phase. The pair lie 39th on 36.2.

“It as the best test he’s done for me and he’s not a dressage diva — there are Shetland ponies with a bigger trot than him!” she joked.

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British individual Selina Milnes holds 30th (32.8) with William Rucker’s Iron.

“He didn’t do anything wrong, but he went a bit quiet in the atmosphere,”  she said.

The showjumping for the SAP cup takes place at 5.45pm local time (4.45pm in Britain) today, with the cross-country tomorrow morning.

Check back for more news from Aachen throughout the week, plus full reports in next week’s Horse & Hound (dated 25 July).