Friday 22 April 2011

Youngest rider heads the field after first day of dressage

Laura Collett, the youngest rider in the field, heads the leaderboard at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials after the first day of dressage.

Laura, 21, scored 36.5 with her junior and young rider medal-winning partner Rayef.

“I’ve dreamed of being here in this position, but I never thought I’d be sat up here now,” said Laura at this evening’s press conference.

Badminton first-timer Laura credited her trainer, Yogi Breisner, for her polished performance.

“Yogi told me to imagine having four walls of an indoor school around the arena and pretend that I was riding at home,” she said.

This will be Rayef’s first four-star, but Laura does have previous four-star experience – she completed Burghley with Ginger May Killinghurst last year.

German rider Marina Kohncke lies in second place overnight on a score of 39.8 with the mare Calma Schelly.

Marina (nee Loheit) led the dressage phase at Badminton in 1994 with Sundance Kid, but the pair fell across country, leaving Mark Todd and Horton Point to take the honours that year.

“I never dreamt I would do a four-star again, but my horse is fantastic and I’m so pleased to be here,” said Marina.

Italian team stalwart Susanna Bordone currently occupies third place with another mare, Carerra.

“Dressage is her strong phase. She’s not the fastest horse across the country so I have to make sure I try and save time between fences,” said Susanna.

First into the arena for the second day of dressage tomorrow is Vicky Brake and Looks Like Fun, who will start at 9am.

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