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Friday, September 05, 2008  •  14:23 GMT

Ruth Edge riding MR DUMBLEDORE

Ruth Edge riding MR DUMBLEDORE

RUTH TAKES OVER THE DRESSAGE

The cheers from the stands said it all as Ruth Edge and Mr Dumbledore left the arena after their dressage test at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. The combination first into the arena today set a new and high standard for the rest to match with a score of 33.7 penalties from the ground jury of Jane Tolley (GBR), Jean Mitchell (IRL) and Brian Ross (USA).

“He was fabulous,” said Ruth with a wide grin. “As soon as you enter the arena he just grows in stature and presence. I have been working with my trainer (Judy Harvey) on improving his expression and I couldn’t be more pleased – I would have been happy for a score in the 30’s – he didn’t put a foot wrong.”

This is the first four-star event for the combination that has only been together for just over a year. The 12-year-old Mr Dumbledore did, however, win both Bramham and Boekelo three-star events in 2005 with his former rider William Fox-Pitt.

Belgian Olympic individual rider Karin Donckers moved into second place with Rose’s Merlin, albeit still seven penalties behind the leader. The second of Karin’s two rides here this year completed the Luhmuhlen four-star earlier this year.

The 2004 winners Andrew Hoy and Moon Fleet are well placed at this stage in third place after a fluent test gave them a mark of 41.9 penalties, while Andrew’s fellow Australian Matt Ryan – who like Andrew is also looking to make amends for the disappointment of missing out on a trip to Hong Kong – and the Thoroughbred Bonza Puzzle are in fourth.

However the dressage is not over yet – William Fox-Pitt and Mary King, both former Burghley winners, have their second rides to come at the end of the day.