As expected, Germany held the advantage halfway through the team dressage at the World Equestrian Games yesterday, when two riders from each country had ridden their tests. The Netherlands were lying in an equally predictable second place, but the British surprised plenty of people by holding the bronze medal position. If they can stay there today they will collect Britain's first team medal for dressage and qualify for the 2008 Olympics.
Wayne Channon had the marginally better score of the two British riders yesterday, finishing the day in eighth place on 13-year-old Lorenzo. "His test had some brilliant moments and some that were not so good," Channon said.
The black stallion was not as relaxed as he might have been, seemingly intoxicated by the close crowds. He was snorting with excitement before starting his test.
Laura Bechtolsheimer, at 21 the youngest rider on the British team, is in ninth place on Douglas Dorsey with whom she won the national title last year. Despite her inexperience at this level, she produced a lovely test which appeared harshly marked until it became clear that the judges were being stern all round.