Laura Collett best of the Brits at Luhmühlen

  • There was a dramatic shake-up of the leaderboard after the CCI4* cross-country at Luhmühlen, with none of the first five after dressage holding on to top-10 spots.

    The USA’s Boyd Martin and 16-year-old Shamwari 4 rose up from equal eighth after the first phase to take the lead, remaining on their dressage score of 27.4. They are less than a penalty ahead of New Zealand’s Jonelle Price (Faerie Dianamo, 28.3).

    Boyd said: “I think he is the best horse in the world and that was a fantastic round. We’ve been plotting this for about six months and have really taken our time to prepare him.”

    Boyd Martin riding Shamwari 4 at Luhmühlen CCI4*

    Laura Collett went clear inside the time on Mr Bass’s CCI4* debut to take third. Laura, fourth-placed Willa Newton (Chance Remark) and Ros Canter, fifth on Zenshera, all sit on a score of 29.9, but Laura was the only one of the three Brits not to pick up cross-country time-faults. Ros was initially given 50 penalties for jumping the wrong side of a flag, but it was quickly removed from her score.

    “I’m a very happy girl right now,” said Laura. “He made it feel like a Pony Club event; CCI4* shouldn’t feel that easy!”

    With less than one showjump between the top five, the way is paved for an exciting final day.

    Ireland’s Sam Watson was another to make the time allowed of 11min 17sec and rose from 29th after dressage to seventh on the Puissance 14-year-old Horseware Ardagh Highlight.

    His countryman Cathal Daniels successfully appealed the 50 penalties given to him for jumping the wrong side of a flag at 17b – the skinny brush in the water at the main Messmer Teich water complex – and lies in eighth aboard Rioghan Rua. The pair were also inside the time.

    America has a second representative in the top 10: Liz Halliday-Sharp and four-star first-timer Deniro Z are in ninth place on a score of 35. And British-based Italian rider Vittoria Panizzon rode the first clear round of the day on Chequers Play The Game for 10.8 time-faults and 10th place.

    Other good British performances came from Katie Preston (12th on Templar Justice with just 1.2 time-faults), and Harry Dzenis – 14th on Xam.

    Continued below…

    Dressage leaders Tim Lips and Bayro were awarded 50 penalties for jumping the wrong side of a flag at fence 23c, a corner in the main arena. And Piggy French, who finished inside the time on Quarrycrest Echo and who would have been in sixth place, was also given 50 penalties for missing a flag at 11b.

    Pippa Funnell and Billy Beware, fourth and best of the British after dressage, retired after two run-outs at 17b. Nicola Wilson and Bulana, 10th after dressage, walked home after a run-out at the same fence, having had an earlier mistake at 11c.

    Jesse Campbell and Cleveland, second after dressage for New Zealand, fell a stride after landing in the water over 17a, an angled log.

    Australia’s Shane Rose and CP Qualified, who were third after dressage, jumped clear but with 21.2 time-faults and therefore dropped to 16th.

    Very sadly Axel Z, ridden by Chloe Raty for Belgium, was put down after falling at 18b, the final part of the Messmer Teich water.

    Thirty-one of the 46 cross-country starters finished the track, which was designed for the second year by Mike Etherington-Smith.

    Laura Collett said: “It walked pretty tough and very intense. You had to be on your game at every moment.”

    Boyd Martin said: “When I walked it I thought it was a bit soft compared to my previous visits, when Mark Phillips designed the course. But it rode really strongly – all credit to the course-designer.”

    Full report from Luhmühlen in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 21 June.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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