Britain’s Holly Woodhead has made a stunning debut at her first senior championships, taking the lead after the second session of dressage on the first day of competition.


Riding as an individual, her score of 31.7 puts her 5.1 penalties ahead of France’s Thibault Valette who held the initial lead following the morning session.

After her test Holly said: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed and really excited. I knew he could go well but I IMGL3718didn’t realise I was going to get that kind of score, especially as there are so many good horses here. To even be in the top ten I would have been happy with that but to go into the lead I can’t thank my horse enough. The last words I heard in my head were from my groom Alex Van Tuyll who said go nail it so that’s what I had in my head all the way round.”

The second session was dominated by the British riders, with four individuals heading into the dressage
arena consecutively. First off was Gemma Tattersall with Arctic Soul who scored 47.3 and currently lie in eight at lunch on day one. She said: “I’m really pleased with the horse. I’m a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a lower forties score. But the horse tried his heart out. He was incredibly nervous and unfortunately he didn’t do any of the walk which is normally his best scoring bit, which bought my score down.”

They were followed by late replacement Sarah Bullimore and Lilly Corinne who scored 38.2. She said: “I got the call 24 hours ago so it has been an emotional rollercoaster. Because it is quite a journey from home we were travelling up so we could be available. I’m chuffed to bits with her. She is a hot mare and she can deliver a stunning test. I’m really pleased with her – she has literally had 24 hours to settle in and see the sites and she was lovely to ride.”


Last to go of the British quartet this morning were Laura Collett and Grand Manoeuvre. They scored a personal best of 37.8. She commented: “I’m really excited to be here. Grand Manoeuvre was fantastic – he tried really hard in there and it was his best test yet – he’s chosen the right time to do it. I feel all year he has been getting better and better. We’re really starting to gel and hopefully it’s happening at the right time. He’s an amazing horse and its just getting the relationship there. He tried his hardest so I can’t ask more of him.”

During this afternoon’s session of dressage the second rotation of team riders will perform their dressage. Notable riders include Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy with Simon Purloe (14.08), Nicola Wilson for Great Britain with One Two Many (14.24), Camilla Spiers and Portersize Just A Jiff ((16.10) and Michael Jung with FischerTakinou (14.40) and Bettina Hoy on Designer 10 (16.18), both for Germany.

Sarah Carless

Photography courtesy of Dave Cameron and TB Photographic

Top 10 Standings at Lunch, Day 1

1; Holly Woodhead, DHI Lupison (GBR), 31.7

2, Thibault Vallette, Qing du Briot (FRA), 36.8

3; Kitty King, Persimmon (GBR), 36.9

4; Laura Collett, Grand Manoeuvre (GBR), 37.8

5; Sarah Bullimore, Lilly Corinne (GBR), 38.2

6; Dirk Schrade, Hop and Skip (GER), 43.1

7; Sam Watson, Horseware Lukeswell (IRE), 44.1

8; Gemma Tattersall, Arctic Soul (GBR), 47.3

9; Luca Roman, Castlewoods Jake (ITA), 48.8

10; Joseph Murphy, Sportsfield Orthello (IRE), 50.0

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