Four-time Olympian William Fox-Pitt had a great start in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games equestrian eventing competition, as he finished the first day in the lead with the sixteen-year-old stallion Chilli Morning.

The first day saw 33 combinations ride down the centre line of the arena to contest the eventing dressage phase. Olympic debutant Gemma Tattersall, with Quicklook V, entered the arena first for Team GB where they produced some great movements, but unfortunately a slight mistake occurred in the first extended trot landing a final score of 47.2.

“A little bit disappointed with the score today but she went in and we both did our absolute best and she tried really, really hard for me. She did all the movements really well apart from one mistake and I was really proud of her,” said Gemma.

Later in the day saw William Fox-Pitt riding Chilli Morning perform some lovely work awarding the duo an impressive score of 37 penalties.

“It’s what I was dreaming of, he’s good on the flat and he’s worked brilliantly with Tracie Robinson [eventing dressage coach] in the build-up to being here. He felt lovely and calm, it’s a good start,” says William.

Overnight William remained in the lead after Australia’s Christopher Burton (Santano II) finishing on a score of 37.6 penalties, with current Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung (Sam FBW) in third position with 40.9 penalties. This means the British team occupy third place in the team standings, behind Germany and Australia. Great Britain’s Pippa Funnell (Billy The Biz) and Kitty King (Ceylor L A N) will ride today.

The 2016 Olympic eventing cross-country phase will be contested on Monday (8 August) with the final phase, showjumping, decided on Tuesday.