A relieved Kitty King steals last-minute lead

Kitty King and Vendredi Biats finish in 1st after the dressage at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2022

It was almost a deal well done after morning path finder Tim Price stole the lead from Sarah Bullimore, during the second day of dressage at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. It wasn’t until Kitty King and Vendredi Baits entered the arena to throw down the gauntlet did Tim realise he had something to worry about.

Topping Tim’s 21.3, the 21.2 from Kitty proved good enough to carry her into the lead ahead of the gruelling cross country to come. However, with a flurry of top combinations, a mere few points away, it’ll no doubt prove to be a day of pressure for all.

Kitty, who admitted to being disappointed to not have been selected for the British team for the upcoming World Championships in Pratoni, cried tears of joy upon her and Vendredi Biats’ score of 21.2 being announced:

“I don’t know what to say really other than I’m thrilled and relieved,” she said. “He a very sharp horse and we haven’t always been able to produce what he can do at home on the big stage so it’s a huge relief to eventually be able to show everyone what he is capable of. He spent most of the time in the warm-up arena tripping over his feet and then jumping up in the air because he was cross with himself, but he was very rideable in the main arena – he stayed with me and pulled it out of the bag.”

Thursday’s leaders, Sarah Bullimore (GBR) and Corouet now sit in third on 22.5 with Piggy March (GBR) and Vanir Kamira in fourth on 22.6. World number one ranked rider, Oliver Townend (GBR) and Swallow Springs, who were the final combination to complete their dressage test today, are fifth on 22.6.

“Vitali is very capable and he’s been working well all week,” commented Tim. “If he’s in that frame of mind he normally stays that way for a few days so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Oliver summed up just how open the competition still is ahead of what is set to be an exciting and influential day of cross-country tomorrow:

“This is not going to be a dressage competition – it’s Burghley and on a score of 22.6 we’re still more than close enough.”

The action starts on the cross-country course at 11.30am with New Zealand’s Tim Price and Bango first to tackle Derek di Grazia’s track.

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