British number one knocks Jung off the top spot

BRITAIN’S William Fox-Pitt and the free-flowing chestnut stallion Chilli Morning have swept into pole position as the first day of dressage at Le Pin National Stud has drawn to a close. 

British number one knocks Jung off the top spot
© PSV Photos

Fox-Pitt admitted that this was the best test his 2013 individual European silver medal-winning horse had ever performed. The judges particularly loved his expressive and correct canter work which they rewarded with a plethora of 8s. Fox-Pitt’s riding also drew a couple of 9s.

“I’m very relieved that we nailed the test,” said Britain’s leading eventer who was the only competitor today to earn a mark in the 30s. “He’s a lovely horse to ride on the flat and he coped really well in that arena. It was gloomy and wet and soggy.”

This morning’s leader Michael Jung has now slipped into second place, while Jung’s teammate, Ingrid Klimke, has steered FRH Escada JS into third, the pair’s performance marred by tension which prompted the mare to break in the walk.

“She wanted to canter early and that cost us. But her canter felt impressive and it was fun to ride her. She has a lot of quality and she showed that in her extensions. Her trot was powerful and aggressive.”

Luhmuhlen CCI**** winners Tim Price and Wesko are now in fourth with 42 penalties. The New Zealander admitted that he was aiming for perfection but hadn’t always found it.

“He’s young and that showed in his halts,” he said.

The Netherlands’ Elaine Pen exited the arena with a huge smile, delighted with her score of 42.3 for fifth aboard Vira. Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces are the best of the Americans in sixth, while Bill Levett is flying the flag for Australia in seventh aboard Shannondale Titan.

Frenchman Cedric Lyard was a happy man after a pleasing performance with his striking 12-year-old grey Cadeau Du Roi earned him 47.3 penalties and provisional ninth place at this stage, just behind British individuals Nicola Wilson and Annie Clover (eighth).

“I’m really happy with my horse. Cadeau concentrated well and was expressive in the arena. I wanted to get the most marks I possibly could for the team and I feel that I achieved that,” said Lyard.

Echoing the thoughts of other riders, France’s number two for the team believes that the undulating terrain will add to the cross-country’s difficulty factor.  

“But my horse is a good galloper and a good cross-country horse,” added Lyard. “I will try and do my best for the team but you can never be sure how things will turn out.”

With two Germans in the top three, that nation currently heads the unofficial team standings (with two scores counting) on 81.9. New Zealand is second, Great Britain third and the USA fourth. The host nation is languishing in seventh place.

Top 5 results (individual)

  1. William Fox-Pitt (GBR)/ Chilli Morning – 37.5
  2. Michael Jung (GER)/ Fischerrocana FST – 40.7
  3. Ingrid Klimke (GER)/ FRH Escada JS – 41.2
  4. Tim Price (NZL)/ Wesko – 42.0
  5. Elaine Pen (NED)/ Vira – 42.3

Top 5 results (team)

  1.  Germany – 81.9
  2. New Zealand – 91.2
  3. Great Britain – 92
  4. USA – 92.5
  5. The Netherlands – 97.3

CLICK HERE for a full list of results from the first day of the three-day event

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