Dressage got under way at Houghton Horse Trials today, with riders in all the eventing classes performing in front of the judges. With more to do their dressage tests tomorrow, the current leader of the headline ‘three-star’ class is multi-medalled British Olympian Pippa Funnell, who was for a while a Norfolk resident. Pippa’s leading ride is Billy Beware, a home-bred from Pippa and husband William’s renowned Billy Stud.
Sweden’s Therese Viklund lies in second place riding Diabolique, with Great Britain back in third thanks to Holly Woodhead and Parkfield Quintessential.
Thirty seven of the combinations in this class performed today, with 68 still to start their challenge. It is this ‘three-star’ class which also contains the members of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup teams, so the pressure will be on the remaining riders to get their nations well placed ahead of Saturday’s show jumping phase.
In the ‘two-star’ class France’s Thomas Carlile’s campaign started with a bang. With only 11 horses still to do dressage tomorrow, Thomas lies in first and fifth places, on Upsilon and Atos Barbotiere respectively. Norfolk born Piggy French riding Graf Cavalier is in third place behind Australia’s Brook Staples on Doonaveeragh O Six.
Completing a truly international line-up, Kiwi Jesse Campbell tops the ‘one-star’ at the midway point. Jesse has a one penalty advantage over Britain’s Caroline Harris and Hong Kong representative Annie Ho.
In the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse classes Samantha Hobbs gained I Diablo Joe’s second five-year-old Young Horse Championship qualification in two weeks, finishing ahead of Piggy French on Cooley Performance. Ginnie Turnbull claimed the four-year-old class riding Clapton.
Dressage for all of the eventing classes kicks of at 8.30am tomorrow, with showjumping from 9am and Arena Eventing in the afternoon. Tickets are available on the gate, which opens at 8.30am.