With one more session of dressage still to go tomorrow, the New Zealand team contesting the Nations Cup at the Houghton International Horse Trials is in third place. Caroline Powell is the best of the Kiwis, scoring 45.6pen for 18th on Onwards And Upwards, Sir Mark is just behind her with 45.9 on Obos Colombus, and Jesse Campbell is 25th on Cleveland with 47.9.
Australia has taken an early lead, with a team score of 137.9pen, with two riders, Sam Griffiths and Andrew Hoy, in the top 10.
The hosts are second on 138.9, despite their policy of using the Nations Cup competitions to blood up-and-coming riders, with Izzy Taylor, Coral Keen and Laura Collett putting in consistent performances. There are four Brits in the top 10 at this stage, but none of them are on the team!
Germany is sitting in fourth place in 139.9, just 0.5pen behind the New Zealanders on 139.4.
Aside from Gemma Tattersall’s standout performance to sit first on 32.7, the scores are very close, with only 8.5pen separating the top five teams.
And with each team’s strongest combination still to ride, including our own Tim Price and Bango, the competition is wide open.
Caroline is 28th on her second ride, Flying Finish, scoring 48.3, and Annabel Wigley and Cotswold are 38th, with a score of 51.2. Megan Heath had an unfortunate time of dressage with Camelot, and is sitting in 76th place on 71.1pen.
Tim Price is best of the Kiwi entries in both the two- and one-star classes. In the CCI2*, he relinquished his place at the top of the leaderboard to Pippa Funnell, but is still sitting pretty in third place on Danturano K. Lizzie Brown and Lucy Jackson are 13th equal, and Jonelle Price is 18th.
And in the CCI1*, Tim and Pats Jester are fifth equal, scoring 43.4.
There are a number of smaller classes as well at Houghton, making for an extremely full-on event for all concerned. Lizzie Brown was the standout Kiwi in the Young Event Horse, fourth in the 5YO section on Grandia.
The two- and one-star classes ride cross-country tomorrow, while the three-star class completes dressage, so it will be a busy day – especially for our photographer Libby Law!