The top two after dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials remains unchanged from yesterday. Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules, the first pair in front of the Ground Jury yesterday morning, still hold the narrowest of leads on 27.2, just .1 of a penalty ahead of fellow Brit Sarah Bullimore and Reve De Rouet.
Oliver held first and third places at one stage this morning after posting a score of 29.4 on his second ride of the competition SRS Cooley. It then took another nine combinations to perform their tests before Germany’s Andreas Dibowski disrupted the British domination at the business end of affairs by scoring 28.5 with FRS Butts Avedon to relegate Oliver and SRS Cooley down to fourth.
A stalwart of the German Championship teams in recent years, this has prevented Andreas from being able to ride at Burghley since 2013 as the event tends to be too close to major Championships for riders with only one horse at that level. However, this year the German selectors have asked Andreas to take his younger horse, FRH Corrida, to the World Equestrian Games, meaning that he has been able to bring his 2013 European Championship team gold medal partner Butts Avedon to Burghley.
“I’m very, very happy with his test as the atmosphere is not easy for him,” said Andreas. “He was crazy on Wednesday but I galloped him this morning and did a bit of show jumping which calmed him down. I also just warmed him up for 10 minutes in the collecting ring so that when he went into the arena he was relaxed.”
Andreas feels the cross-country track here will suit both him and Butts Avedon: “I find it easier to ride faster over longer tracks,” he explained. “Butts Avedon is very experienced and a big galloper and jumper. I plan to go the long route at the Leaf Pit at fence 7 as we don’t really school for such steep drops at home and I think it will only add another 5-6 seconds. Otherwise I plan to take all the direct routes.”
The dressage action re-commences today 1400 with Gubby Leech and Xavier in the arena for Great Britain.