Oliver Townend took seventh place in the dressage at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships this afternoon, helping the British team finish the first phase in silver.
Oliver scored 27.6 with Cooley Master Class, with his only mistake being a stumble and break into canter at the start of the first half-pass.
“Obviously that was a costly mistake, but apart from that he felt very good and it’s only one stumble. It’s a solid mark for the team, which is the main bit and it’s on to the next phase,” said Oliver.
Ingrid Klimke’s excellent test this afternoon with SAP Hale Bob OLD catapulted her into second individually on 22.2 — behind her team-mate Michael Jung (FischerChipmunk FRH) and confirmed the Germans as easy first-phase leaders, 17.7 penalties ahead of Britain.
“He was a bit excited outside, but as soon as I went into the arena he was like, ‘I know my job’ and he was really trotting like a dressage horse — I was like, ‘Oh Bobby!’” said Ingrid.
British individual Laura Collett, the overnight dressage leader on London 52, sits in individual bronze position at the conclusion of the first phase.
Kitty King, Britain’s second individual, scored 27.8 early this afternoon with Diana Bown, Sally Lloyd Baker, Sally Eyre & Samantha Wilson’s Vendredi Biats. They currently sit in eighth place.
“He felt really good — it’s a shame he broke in the extended trot as that’s usually one of the things he’s really good at and it was expensive because you are marked down for the transitions as well,” she said.
“But he was with me and not spooky — which he can be — and was listening and concentrating. He was more rideable than at Badminton and there was a lot more for him to look at than at Badminton on Thursday afternoon.
“It was an annoying mistake as without it he’d have been up with the top few, but he’s not done a bad job and he’s green for a championship.”
Britain has four riders in the top 10, with Tina Cook and Billy The Red holding ninth.
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The Netherlands’ Tim Lips slotted into sixth this afternoon on Bayro, but he was a little disappointed with his score of 26.
“He had a little bit of extra expression compared to the warm-up and I know he has experience, so I can really ride for every exercise,” he said.
The competition continues tomorrow with the cross-country, over a track designed by Britain’s Mike Etherington-Smith.
Check back for more updates from the Eventing European Championships in Luhmühlen all week, plus full report in next week’s Horse & Hound magazine (dated 5 September).