On the first day of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials which is the final leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, Bettina Hoy (GER) performed a stunning dressage test on Designer 10.

Scoring 34.5 Bettina’s test was a demonstration of lightness and balance with only a slight bit of tension during a flying change. This provided her with a comfortable eight-penalty margin over Bill Levett (AUS) on Improvise after the first day of dressage.

“I think Designer must have been having a little chat with [my other horse] Seigneur Medicott, who usually does the better test, as he felt great in there,” said Bettina. “I’ve developed a special programme for him in the warm-up because he can get a bit tense. Every time I feel him tighten, I go into rising trot and that helps.”

Bill Levett, who is based in Britain has been getting closer to CCI4* success all the time and is in second place after the first day on 42.5.

A relative newcomer to this level of eventing, Paul Sims, found himself the best British rider so far in the competition, having scored his best CCI4* dressage result on Glengarnock to lie third on 46.6.

Making her Burghley debut was Elisa Wallace’s (USA) who got off to a great start scoring 46.8 on Simply Priceless to take fourth place at this stage. “When I looked up at the scoreboard and saw the score, I couldn’t believe it,” said Elisa.

Bettina Hoy’s main rivals today look to be New Zealanders Sir Mark Todd (NZB Campino) and Andrew Nicholson (Nereo), who have ten Burghley wins between them, plus the Dressage leader in Rio, Christopher Burton (AUS) on Nobilis 18 and his team mate Sam Griffiths on the veteran Happy Times.

Follow the action on www.burghley.tv and with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk

Results after first day of Dressage:

1 Bettina Hoy/Designer 10 (GER) 34.5

2 Bill Levett/Improvise (AUS) 42.5

3 Paul Sims/Glengarnock (GBR) 46.6

4 Elisa Wallace/Simply Priceless (USA) 46.8

5 Ros Canter/Allstar B (GBR) 47.0

6 Jonelle Price/Classic Moet (NZL) 48.5

=7 Sarah Bullimore/Reve de Rouet (GBR) 49.1

=7 Emily Gilruth/Topwood Beau (GBR) 49.1

9 Andrew Hoy/Rutherglen (AUS) 49.4

10 Tim Price/Bango (NZL) 49.5