Clayton Leads The Pack
Photo: Anthony Trollope/StockImageServices.com
New Zealander Andrew Nicholson led after the opening day of dressage on Thursday with the 16-year-old gelding Lord Killinghurst with a score of 39.6 and many thought that it would be hard to beat. The order for the top three did hold until late in the day but only until Fredericks, drawn eighth from the end, rode a magnificent test to score 39.0 and take the lead ahead of tomorrow's cross-country.
"I thought he was capable of a test in the 30s,"the 39-year-old said at the press conference." I am very pleased with this result as he is relatively new at this level.".
William Fox-Pitt, winner of the Blair two and three-star events in Scotland last weekend, holds on to third position on Parkmore Ed with a score of 41.4, with Caroline Powell of New Zealand in fourth on Lenamore (42.2). Best of the eight American entries is Purcellville, Virginia native Jan Byyny on Task Force, who scored 51.2 to take equal 15th position.
Tomorrow's cross-country test will take plenty of riding and Captain Mark Phillips has made considerable changes to that seen last year. There are several long routes and those who attempt to go straight to save time will possibly be penalised for run-outs at the numerous skinnies "Most likely to give trouble will be the Leaf Pit at fence four and the following combination at five, where the drop at the first element is just over six foot.
Despite this, Fredericks is confident that the course will suit Nullabor, owned by Edwin and Peta McAuley. "I will go out there with an open mind," he concluded.
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