Law fast to follow Brakewell's lead

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Great Britain held the lead after yesterday's first day of dressage at the European Three-Day Event Championships, where two riders from each of the 10 teams competed their tests. Fabio Magni, of Italy, was the individual leader on 17-year-old Loro Piana Cool 'n Breezy, with whom he finished fifth in the Sydney Olympics last year.

Magni had intended to retire his mount after Badminton this year, but the big Gloucestershire event was cancelled and he was switched to Saumur in France, where he won the competition. Thanks to the splendid form shown there, Cool 'n Breezy's retirement has been put on hold until after the European Championships.

Second place is currently shared by Piia Pantsu, of Finland, on Karuso and the German team member Inken Johannsen on Brilliante.

Leslie Law, so far the best of the British team, is close behind in fourth place on Shear H20, who should be well suited to the twists and turns of tomorrow's beautifully built cross-country course. "Most of the way you have to gallop for 100 yards and then turn, but it shouldn't be a problem for my horse because he's quite nippy,'' Law said.

Jeanette Brakewell, first to go for the British team, had a worrying moment when the over-exuberant Over To You bucked during the first extended canter. But the rest of the test was satisfactory and Brakewell is now lying eighth.

Britain's two remaining team members (the defending individual champion Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt) will ride their dressage tests today, together with the second individual rider, Kristina (Gifford) Cook.