World champion Sandra Auffarth leads at Blenheim

Sandra Auffarth

World champion Sandra Auffarth leads at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials

Germany’s Sandra Auffarth, the current World Champion, is in the lead in the CCI3* class at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials at the end of the first day of dressage on 17th September 2015.

Riding Ispo, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Sybille Winter and the DOKR, Sandra scored 37.2 to take a comfortable lead.

“That was the best test we have done,” said Sandra, who was part of Germany’s gold medal-winning team and also took individual silver at last week’s European Championships. “He’s getting better and better on the flat as he gets stronger. He’s really sweet, and is [her top horse] Opgun Louvo’s best friend.

Sandra took over the ride on Ispo a year ago after the death of the horse’s rider, Benjamin Winter, in a fall at Luhmhulen CCI4* in Germany.

Three marks behind her in second place in the CCI3* is the young British rider Dani Evans (Raphael II), who scored 40.2. Franky Reid-Warrilow and Dolley Whisper, competing at their first CCI3*, are in third with a mark of 40.6. The pair recently won individual gold at the European CIC2* Championships.

Last year’s winner of the CIC3* for eight-and-nine-year-old horses, New Zealand’s Jonelle Price, leads the class again. This year she is riding The Marley and Me Syndicate’s Cloud Dancer II, an eight-year-old whom Jonelle bought with Jacky Green as a just-broken four-year-old.

“He’s smart – he moves very well, especially for an event horse, so I feel a bit of a responsibility to produce something a bit special,” said Jonelle. “He’s no Ferrari across country but he gives it his best – a few seconds in hand would be handy!”

China’s Alex Hua Tian is in the runner-up spot on a mark of 40.6 with Don Geniro, while Irish rider Jonty Evans is third with 43.8 on Fiona Elliott’s Cooley Rorkes Drift.

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