Kiwi rider Jesse Campbell is sitting in fourth place after the first day of dressage in the CCI4* at Luhmuhlen, with an impressive 71.72% score on his lovely grey Amsterdam 21.
This leaves him just 0.9 pen behind the joint leaders, Boyd Martin (USA) and Kitty King (GBR) at this stage of the competition, though of course there is a full day of dressage to come, including fellow Kiwis Jonelle Price and Blyth Tait.
Jesse, who at 6’6″ is one of the tallest riders on the international stage, has his second horse, Cleveland, in the arena tomorrow as well.
Kitty and Ceylor LAN scored 72.64% to Boyd and Shamwari 4’s 72.59%, but both scores rounded to the penalty mark of 27.4 to put them in equal first.
“He’s one of the most talented horses I’ve ever had, and I’ve never had a perfect test on him,” Boyd says. “I’ve got absolute complete belief in him… I’ve never felt like I had the result at a competition that matched his ability. He’s one of the best cross-country horses I’ve ever ridden.”
Kitty hasn’t had a four-star start with her 11-year-old gelding since the Rio Olympics, and says: “He tried really, really hard and really concentrated on me and went as well as he can for how he is at the moment. It’s lovely to be in such a good position at the end of day one, but there are a a lot of good horses to come.”
The scores are very tight: Italy’s Vittoria Penizzon is third on the former Jock Paget ride, the stallion Chequers Play the Game, with a penalty score of 28.1, Jesse is on 28.3 and Brit Francesca Reid-Warrilow is fifth on Dolley Whisper, on 28.4 pen.
Among the riders to watch in day two of dressage are Nicola Wilson and Bulana, Ros Canter and Zenshera, Shane Rose and CP Qualified, Pippa Funnell and Billy Beware, and Tina Cook and Billy the Red.
The livestream of all the Luhmuhlen action is at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKADiOVJLMRbJwa89FnzLBg