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British leader at Blenheim horse trials

September 9, 2011

» Dressage results

Britain's Piggy French leads the CCI three-star class at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, scoring 42.7 with Lemington Lett Dance after the first dressage day.

2010 Blenheim winner William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk, who also won Burghley last weekend. © Lulu Kyriacou
Fellow Leicestershire rider Sarah Cohen is in second place on 44.0 with Irish Jester. In third s British-based American Jules Stiller who rode the aptly named Enjoy Me to receive a score of 46.2.

French said it was the best performance so far for the horse a t three-star level. "We are very pleased with him, particularly as he has had time off with injury and only run lightly this season. So fingers, crossed he comes back to his good form and goes well in the rest of the competition," she said.

Mark Todd, the defending CIC3* champion, currently leads this class for eight and nine-year-old horses with NZB Campino with 43.1. On 47.9 is last week's Burghley winner William Fox-Pitt riding Lionheart. In third place is Irish rider Ciaran Glynn with Don't Tell Punch.

Blenheim is also a London 2012 Olympics eventing team qualifier.

The Australian team leads after dressage with a total score of 157.9, with New Zealand close on their heels with a score of 165.4 and Japan lie third on 176.0.

The Australian team members are Brook Staples, Catherine Burrell, Lucinda Fredericks and Bill Levett.

The in-form Andrew Nicholson, fresh from his second placing at the Burghley International Horse Trials last weekend, spear-heads the New Zealand team aboard his rising star Qwanza, with Clarke Johnstone on Orient Express, Jonathan Paget on Clifton Razz, Lucy Jackson on Willy Do and Neil Spratt on Elton II.

While the Kiwis have already qualified, thanks to their 2010 bronze medal at the World Championships in Kentucky, high performance leader Erik Duvander sees it as the ideal opportunity to try new and young combinations within a team environment.

Three of the five scores will count towards the team total.

The qualifier - for Africa, Middle East, South East Asia and Oceania - is vitally important for Japan and Australia, although the latter will field only a four-strong team. Only one nation from Blenheim will qualify for London. Hosts Great Britain, along with Canada, New Zealand, United States, Germany, Belgium, France and Sweden, have already qualified.

More than 100 entries have been received for the three-day event.

Nicholson will also start Quimbo in the event, and joining Todd in the CIC3* class is Dan Jocelyn on Brookfield de Bouncer, Jesse Campbell on Kaapachino, Caroline Powell and Onwards and Upwards, and Lucy Jackson on Kilcoltrim Ambassador.

Todd won the one day event last year aboard NZB Land Vision, who then went on to win Badminton, while the three day event was won by Burghley winner William Fox-Pitt on the Kiwi thoroughbred Parklane Hawk.

More than 60,000 spectators are expected at the event over the four days.



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