British riders Oliver Townend and Tina Cook, who both performed their dressage tests this morning in the eventing at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, were slightly disappointed with the results.
Oliver rides as an individual and lies 15th on 47.2 riding Karyn Schuter’s Black Tie II (above).
“He went in and did a ‘clear round’ — there were no mistakes and he behaved himself, but his general way of going was a bit tense and tight,” said Oliver, who was the first rider in the arena this morning.
“We wanted him to be on yesterday and sort of had him ready for that, then we couldn’t get too much work into him yesterday and he was a bit bright in there.”
Tina, the third British team member to perform, holds 22nd on a score of 50 with Jim Chromiak’s and her own De Novo News. The 11-year-old garnered some eights in his extended work, but also had some small mistakes in the flying changes.
“He went a bit babyish, which sounds silly when he’s done three four-stars, but he went in there and got quite tight,” said Tina. “He showed a bit of a tendency to look around and get tight in the neck. Through tension, the mistakes came in, which you can’t afford at this level.”
Jock Paget takes second
Three riders broke into the top 10 this morning. New Zealand’s Jock Paget, riding at his first major competition since the drama of his doping case and the “no fault or negligence” verdict, scored 38 to take second place on Clifton Promise (right). He sits just 0.5 of a penalty behind Britain’s overnight leader William Fox-Pitt on Chilli Morning.
“It’s good to see Promise hasn’t forgotten his job,” he said. “There was nothing I was disappointed with — I’m proud of him for going in and doing the same thing as last time he was at a four-star [Burghley 2013].”
Jock’s result is a boost for the New Zealand team, which holds the lead over Germany with one rider for each team still to go.
Lucy Jackson, another Kiwi but riding as an individual, piloted Willy Do to seventh on 43.8 this morning.
She said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with him — the mistakes in the rein-back and one flying change proved expensive, but it’s his first championship. Some experienced horses have not been responding as well in there — they seem to freeze a bit, but my horse didn’t so I’m chuffed with him.”
Ruy Fonseca lies ninth on 44.2 crediting his good test to increased funding from the Brazilian federation in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics and training with Brit Anna Ross Davies.
Britain’s final rider is Harry Meade on Wild Lone at 4.40pm today local time (3.40pm British time).
Check back for more updates from WEG eventing online. Full report in H&H next week, out Thursday, 4 September.