New rider tops Badminton leader board after seven year absence from the event

Playlist 19 Videos New rider tops Badminton leader board after seven year absence from the event 01:05 History made at Bramham as first Japanese rider takes CCI3* title: disappointment for overnight leader 00:49 'She's a little star but also hysterical': Gemma Tattersall has commanding CCI3* dressage lead at Bramham 00:50 'I couldn't ride at all last week': Paul Tapner leads Bramham CIC3* 00:41 Shock result on final day of Badminton: record-breaker takes emotional victory 02:40 Danielle Dunn's Badminton first-timer blog: it didn't quite go to plan 01:16 'It was pure fun': nail-biting finish to cross-country at Badminton 01:27 Danielle Dunn's Badminton first-timer blog: I'm disappointed but this isn't going to be a dressage competition 01:31 'I can't believe it': Burghley winner leads the way at Badminton 01:01 Danielle Dunn's Badminton first-timer blog: the cross-country is one thing, but first I have to survive the dressage 02:14 France and Germany dominate on day one of Badminton dressage: first-timers are best Brits 00:55 Mark Todd aims for fifth Badminton victory: 'I don't have any plans to stop eventing' 01:00 'The biggest Badminton I've ever seen': riders' first reaction to the cross-country course 02:41 Frenchman leads the way at Badminton dressage: popular British combination withdrawn 01:26 Kirsty Short's Badminton first-timer blog: so near, yet so far away 01:25 Badminton first-timers: Lydia Hannon — ‘I owe this horse everything’ 02:30 Kirsty Short's Badminton first-timer blog: Badminton's cross-country course looks right up our street, but will we or won't we? 00:26 Riders' first reactions to the 2016 Badminton cross-country course 03:06 Ian Stark walks the toughest fences at Badminton Horse Trials 2016 03:31

Belgian rider Karin Donckers got the second day of dressage at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials off to a good start, storming into first place.

Second into the main arena riding the 12-year-old Fletcha van ‘t Verahof, the pair posted a score of 37.3.

“‘Fletcha’ felt very good and relaxed,” said Karin, who hasn’t competed at Badminton since 2010. “Everything felt easy and I’m excited to be back here. He has improved a lot since last year and the new four-star test we’re riding helped him as he is particularly good at the 20m canter circle where the horse has to stretch forward and down.”

There is a real international feel at the top of the leader board, with eight different nations holding the top 10 spots.

Yesterday’s leader Thibaut Vallette and Qing Du Briot Ene HN were relegated into second with their score of 38.7.

Other notable performances in the morning session of dressage today (5 May), include Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa, who scored 42.6 on The Duke Of Cavan, to slot into sixth at the moment, and Paul Tapner who rode into eighth place riding Bonza King Of Rouges.

Yoshi said: “I was expecting my horse to be more tense, but he was calm and relaxed and I am very happy.”

Paul scored 43.9 and he was pleased given the circumstances.

“My horse is a headshaker, so this sunny weather is the worst type of weather we could have wanted,” explained the Australian. “Damp, cloudy weather would have been much better as it means he won’t headshake as much. Therefore I wasn’t able to go for the winning marks, but that was good for him today.”

Karin Donkers Fletcha van ‘t Verahof

Canadian rider Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee produced some wow-factor trot work, but his flying-changes let him down. Still they scored a respectable 44.4 to go into ninth place at the moment, ahead of the two best Brits, Alex Bragg and Tom McEwen who are in equal 10th.

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British hopeful Gemma Tattersall did her best to keep a lid on her faithful four-star campaigner Arctic Soul, who was unable to produce his best in the atmosphere of the main arena.

“He’s been twitchy and tricky all day,” explained a disappointed Gemma. “I’m gutted, but he’s an awesome horse and he owes me nothing. Unfortunately he knows where he is — he’s a bit too wise!”

The pair scored 55.8 to go into 49th place at the moment.

Don’t miss this week’s H&H (on sale now), including a 16-page Badminton pull-out with full form guide, dressage test, judge’s analysis, course map and more.