The Brits retain the top of the leaderboard after day two of dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI 5*L, but not the same Brit as yesterday.
“We are here to prove a point,” said Kitty King (GBR), riding 13-year-old Selle Français gelding Vendredi Biats.
And prove a point they did. When King and Vendredi entered the ring, eights and nines flashed on the scoreboard. They secured the pole position by putting down a career best test with a score of 21.2, even receiving a perfect 10 for Harmony of Athlete and Horse.
“For [Vendredi Biats] to come out today and produce what he can do at home is fantastic. I was really proud of him,” King said. “He’s just getting better every time out. He is really coming into his own.”
Yet the rider who initially nudged yesterday’s leader Sarah Bullimore (GBR) and Corouet from the top spot was New Zealand’s Tim Price with 12-year-old Holsteiner Vitali. The first pair of the day in the ring, they laid down a fabulous test scoring a 21.3. Yet it wasn’t enough by 0.1 to maintain the lead, and they ultimately had to settle for second when King bested their score. Yesterday’s leader, Bullimore, now sits in third place.
“[Vitali’s] been in good form at home… it was down to me to go out there and deliver a good result and do him justice,” Price said.
Eventing fans love edge-of-your-seat drama and the best way to do that on dressage day is to have Oliver Townend, ever the crowd pleaser, to enter the ring again but this time aboard Swallow Springs. The pairs’ test was looking brilliant with more eights and nines flashing on the board until the second a small flying change when Swallow Springs seemed to get a little confused as to which leg was which.
He carried on like the seasoned pro he is but the threes and the two for the flying change knocked them out of contention and they ended their day on a 23.6, which is still pretty darn good and finished in third today and fifth overall. Townend’s other ride, Treglider, eventually fell into 9th position overall.
But as I have said before, cross-country day is moving day and we shall see how things play out
Feature Image: Rebecca Berry Photography