Sarah Carless …
The second day of dressage at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials saw British riders take a strong hold on the competition as the held nine of the top ten places out of the 101 starters.
Twenty-four year old Bella Innes Ker maintains her first-day lead. Riding the Duchess of Roxburghe’s 14-year-old mare Carolyn, her score of 24.4 gives her a 2.3-penalty advantage going into the cross country.
Bella said: “Carolyn is in amazing form. We were 15th here last year and I hope we can go better than that this weekend.”
Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street retain their second place (26.7) but another British Olympian has jumped into third place after the second day of competition. Kitty King and her 2016 Rio Olympics partner Ceylor LAN scored 27 to put them one mark ahead of world number one Oliver Townend and Ulises.
In the CIC3* for eight- and nine-year-old horses, New Zealand’s James Avery tops the leaderboard with Joe and Alex Giannamore’s eight-year-old Vitali on a mark of 24.2.
He is now chased by Britain’s Alex Bragg, second on Shannondale Percy with 26.4. Alex said: “It’s been a really interesting season with this horse, because we’ve still been trying to progress him through the grades while I try to develop a partnership with him at the same time. We ran him gently at some early three-stars, where he jumped super, and it gave him an idea of the expectations of him coming into the autumn. We reaped the benefits of that approach today.”
Laura Schroter is third with 27.1 aboard Willem Van Wup, while Laura Collett holds third and fourth places with Dacapo (27.2) and London 52 (27.5).
Images courtesy of Hannah Cole Photography