German rider Julia Krajewski, 27, leads after dressage in the DHL CCI4* at Luhmühlen.
Julia was the only rider to break into yesterday’s top three during today’s action. She and the German Olympic equestrian committee’s Samourai Du Thot scored 39 to take the top spot.
Heavy rain punctuated Julia’s test, but she said the puddles actually enhanced her horse’s action rather than putting him off.
“That is about the best he can do at this level so far — the half-pirouette was a bit hurried and the first flying change was a bit late,” she said. “Normally he wants to change early so I was waiting, waiting, then it was late. Otherwise he was rideable and consistent.”
This will be Julia’s first attempt at a four-star cross-country. She did the dressage at Luhmühlen CCI4* in 2013 with London-Return OLD, but he went lame after the first phase and was withdrawn.
“I think Sam is capable of everything on the course, but I have to get it right,” she said. “It’s my job to give him a good feeling and put him on a good distance so he doesn’t have to help himself too often.”
Belgium’s Julien Despontin is now second with Waldano 36 and Aussie Emma Dougall holds third on Belcam Bear.
Sarah Bullimore is best of the Brits in 10th with Reve Du Rouet, owned by Chris and Sue Gillespie and her husband Brett. This talented horse bolted down the centreline at Badminton, terrified of the crowds, but here he managed to keep his fear under control and scored 46.9 for 10th.
Oliver Townend is just behind her in 11th with 47.6 on Black Tie. Louise Harwood is 13th on a mark of 49 with Whitson.
H&H blogger Coral Keen sits 15th with Wellshead Fare Opposition (50.3), who was one of those who had to perform in heavy rain. He garnered some strong marks, but the overall score was marred by cantering out of his first halt and a messy transition to canter from walk in the middle of the test.
There will only be 28 starters in tomorrow’s cross-country as Bettina Hoy withdrew her ride Seigneur Medicott last night — he got a fright while grazing in hand, broke loose and galloped back to the stables, where he fell over on a turn, suffering bruises and superficial cuts.
Germans now lead both classes as world champions Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo have taken top spot in the CIC3* Meßmer Trophy on a score of 32.7. Overnight leader Andrew Hoy (Cheeky Calimbo) is second (35.3).
The CIC3* cross-country is first tomorrow, with Louise Harwood the CCI4* pathfinder at 2pm local time (1pm in Britain) on Mr Potts.
Full report of Luhmühlen in H&H next week, out 23 June.