Germany’s Bettina Hoy still holds pole position at the end of Friday morning’s dressage session at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, but the pack has closed in with some of this year’s leading contenders delivering solid performances.
Sam Griffiths (AUS) and Dinah Posford and Juliet Donald’s 17-year-old Happy Times, a veteran of six previous Burghleys, put in a smooth and accurate performance to score 39.6 – the only other sub-40 mark to date.
“I like to think Happy Times is a bit like Roger Federer; he’s getting on a bit, but he’s still got it,” smiled Sam as he left the arena. “He’s a cunning old thing; he felt quite tense in the warm-up, but as soon as we cantered down the centreline he knew exactly where he was and he relaxed and started showing off.”
The Antipodeans are piling in at the top of the leaderboard. New Zealander Mark Todd and NZB Campino slotted into third place on a score of 42.2.
“I’m very happy with that,” said Mark. “This horse is experienced now and although he’s not flashy, he’s solid. We made one small mistake in one of the flying changes but otherwise he was very good. It’s nice to be up among the leaders going into cross country, although I would have liked to be a bit closer to Bettina.”
Best of the British at this stage is Sarah Cohen, who was delighted with her test on Treason, which scored 42.3.
“He went well round here three years ago and I’d like to think he’s fitter now than he was back then,” said Sarah.
Frenchman Cedric Lyard (Cadeau Du Roi) and Britain’s Francis Whittington (Hasty Imp) also entered the frame this morning and currently lie in sixth and seventh places.
For the full results click here.