German riders have dominated proceedings on the second day of the EQ Life Houghton International Horse Trials.
At the end of the dressage phase in the CICO3*, which features the British leg of the FEI Nations Cup competition, a Frenchman leads the individual rankings; Luc Chateau with Propriano De L’Ebat, but Germany leads the team rankings. It’s a close run thing with the Germans on 131.3, France on 133.1 and Great Britain on 136.1, so the British team of Pippa Funnell, Georgie Strang, Francis Whittington and Sarah Bullimore are putting in a strong performance and remain very much in touch.
Individually, Pippa Funnell with Billy The Biz is five points off the leader whilst a German rider, Andreas Ostholt riding So Is Et, completes the top three. So Is Et knows his way around the three star track at Houghton – he has twice previously finished third in this class. There is all to play for tomorrow as the competitors tackle first the show jumping and then the cross country course.
It was all change at the top of the CCI1* leaderboard courtesy of an influential cross country phase. Both of the dressage leaders, Claire Fielding and Willa Newton, encountered problems; Willa’s Caja 20 had a refusal at the Quarry Steps, almost in sight of the finish, while Claire and Jenga failed to complete – as did 4th placed Vittoria Panizzon and Fleeting Meeting.
This left the door open for Germany’s Dirk Schrade to slip into the lead after a faultless performance by the Contendro sired Call Me Honey, with Dirk’s second CCI1* horse Navarino now lying in 5th place, up from 9th=. Fellow German Joern Warner, who has been based with Bill Levett for the last couple of months, has moved up to fill the runner up spot with Vicco Pop, one point ahead of Britain’s Lucy Hawley riding Helpful Harry.
Germany also dominates the CCI2* at the end of the dressage phase. Another good performance by Dirk has put Mr Tom Tom in third place, but Bettina Hoy has an almost three penalty lead over the field after posting the only sub-30 score on Seigneur Medicott. Separating the Germans is Australian rider Christopher Burton with Nobilis 18, while Paul Sims is best of the Brits aboard Sam I Am III, who lie in 4th place.
Also competing at CCI2* level are the Under 21 Riders, vying to become the Askham Bryan British National Champion. Defending champion Will Furlong is currently lying in third place on Pioneer Silvie after an error or test. Out in front, in both 1st and 2nd place after dressage is Sophie How, who has to be the rider to beat this year.
Non eventing classes have also been running. Reigning world champions Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo won the Combined Training, with results from the other classes available on the event website.
Photo: Sandra Auffarth & Viamant du Matz © Julie Walker