Former Junior National Champion and Young Riders squad member Eliza Stoddart has retained her position at the top of the leader board...
Former Junior National Champion and Young Riders squad member Eliza Stoddart retained her position at the top of the leader board at the end of play at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials today. Her score of 28.7 with Anne Staley’s Priorspark Opposition Free proved unbeatable, with only Sarah Bullimore and Reve Du Rouet matching dressage pathfinders Tim Price and Bango’s score of 29.6 to sit equal second. Tim also holds eighth place with Xavier Faer on 31.5 and still has his ‘trump card’ to play in the form last year’s winner Ringwood Sky Boy who is the last to go down the centre line tomorrow afternoon.
“He is strong in the phase and I’m confident in his ability,” said Eliza. “I was hoping to be in the top 15 after dressage - to be in the lead after day one is mind boggling, but totally cool. This is my local event and I remember sitting on the edge of the leaf pit with my mates as a child joking about how we’d ride at Burghley one day. To be sat here in this position is totally mental!”
“He was a really good boy,” said Sarah of Reve Du Rouet (pictured). The horse has established 5* form, including fourth place here last year, but is very sensitive and does not find the crowds or the first phase easy to deal with.
“He went a bit shy on me in there and didn’t show himself off as well as he can do but, at the end of the day, it's not a dressage competition,” said Sarah. “It’s frustrating as there’s so much more that could come out and I feel he could have scored 25, but he tried his best.”
Another pair of Burghley debutants, France’s Sebastien Cavaillon and the eye catching chestnut mare Sarah D’Argouges, finished the day in fourth place on 29.8.
“I am very happy as the judges have not been giving marks away today and it’s an improvement on what we scored at Badminton,” said Sebastien. “Sarah is a good dressage mare and has good paces - she can be very hot, but she was on side today.”
Brazil’s Marcelo Tosi and Grenfly kick off tomorrow’s dressage action at 0930.