British rider Laura Collett has risen to the top of the leader board in the eight- and nine-year-old CIC3* class after the showjumping phase at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials today (15 September).
She leads on Diana Chappell’s nine-year-old, Dacapo (pictured), who, thanks to a clear round, has risen from fourth after the first phase to stay on their dressage score of 27.2.
“He jumped really well,” said Laura. “He’s naturally quite lazy, but he doesn’t like other horses, so the buzzy warm-up actually helped him in the ring.”
Laura also holds second place on London 52, another nine-year-old who is owned by Keith Scott, Karen Bartlett and Laura herself. This again, was thanks to a polished clear round, which has seen them rise three places to remain on their 27.5 dressage.
“London 52 is a really good jumper,” explained Laura. “He held his breath a little bit in the arena as he’s quite a shy horse and I have to hold his hand, but I’m so pleased with him.”
Laura says that she thinks the cross-country course this class will tackle tomorrow is “really nice but with a few serious questions.”
“There’s things that my horses have never seen before, like the two lake crossings. I’ll try to go for it, but my horses won’t have the gun to their heads — they’re horses for the future, but if they’re travelling and galloping well, I will let them run.”
Pippa Funnell completes the top three riding Maybach. She also jumped a clear round to rise from sixth after the dressage and they go into the final phase on a score of 27.7.
American rider Katherine Coleman is in fourth with Monte Classico on 29.2, while Ginny Howe holds fifth with Cruise On Inny.
Clear rounds proved crucial and dressage leader, James Avery and Vitali dropped to seventh with a pole down and two time-faults. Alex Bragg, who was in second riding Shannondale Percy dropped to 17th after lowering two poles.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest reports from Blenheim via horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss the full report in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out on 20 September