There are two New Zealanders in the top ten after the first day of dressage at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4*. Jock Paget leads the way on his young horse Clifton Signature, who produced a great effort this morning, impressing many with his lovely movement. He scored 47.5 to put him into 6th place currently.
Tim Price is the other New Zealander in the top ten. Riding Bango, he scored 48.3 and is eighth equal at the close of day one. Bango is still learning, and Tim said in an interview with Samantha Clarke that he was very pleased with the horse. “He went in and acquitted himself well, for him. He’s been very fresh all week.” We agree with Tim that this horse has a lot more to give in the future, but this was a good start to the biggest event of his career so far.
Joe Meyer with Clip Clop scored 60.6. Commentators agreed that for the stage this horse is at, Joe got the most he could out of him. It is Clippy’s first four-star and we are looking forward to seeing what these two can do across country on Saturday.
Michael Jung, as expected, took the lead with his sparkling mare, Fisherrocana FST, but perhaps no-one thought he would be so far in front. He is gunning for the Grand Slam win, having Burghley under his belt, and needing to win here and then at Badminton next week if he is to be the second person to win the coveted prize. He scored 34.4, 8.6 marks ahead of second-placed Liz Halliday-Sharp from the USA on Fernhill By Night. Another Fernhill horse, Fernhill Fugitive, is currently lying third, ridden by Phillip Dutton (USA), on a score of 43.1.
Blyth Tait and Sir Mark have their attempts tomorrow to either nudge in front of Michael Jung, or at least get as close to him as they can. Good luck!