For Lucinda Fredericks it certainly was not an unlucky Friday the 13th. The Australian was the only participant below the 40-point mark in the dressage. The 12-year-old gelding Flying Finish and Fredericks presented themselves in an experienced, accurate and expressive test.
U.S. rider Phillip Dutton sits in 10th after dressage with Mighty Nice after they finished with a score of 46.0. Boyd Martin slotted into 12th with a 47.8 aboard Shamwari; Martin’s ride from Thursday, Otis Barbotiere, dropped to 33rd place.
“This time I’m going to crack on,” promised Fredericks, who retired Flying Finish early on the cross-country at Badminton last month because he had temporarily banged a nerve. “It wasn’t as dramatic as it looked. He was fine 5 minutes later, which was frustrating.
“But perhaps it was a blessing in disguise,” she continued. “My horse feels good, we’ve had a good preparation for this event and I feel we’re due some luck. It would be a great boost for my team at home if we could do well.”
Fredericks, who won Burghley (2006), Badminton (2007) and Rolex Kentucky (2009) on her brilliant little mare Headley Britannia, scored 38.7 on Flying Finish, a 12-year-old Holsteiner by Candillo which she bought in Germany, and leads the Olympic, World and European Champion Michael Jung of Germany by 2.8 penalties.
“It’s quite difficult to tell how well you’re doing on Flying Finish and I wasn’t quite sure I’d nailed it until after the test,” explained Fredericks. “He is always correct and steady, but every time I looked at the scoreboard I only seemed to be getting 7s, so I stuck my chest out and tried to move up a gear!”
At the same time, Fredericks is concerned about making the time on cross-country. “He needs some time to assess the tasks properly,” she said. “This is some time lost and he is not as nimble as my other horses. Two years ago we were second-placed here, but the competition is very strong this year. In any case, I’m going to bed early tonight!”
Jung, who won Luhmühlen in 2009 on La Biosthetique Sam and in 2012 on Leopin FST, has a new CCI**** ride, his parents Joachim and Brigitte’s 9-year-old mare fischerRocana FST, eighth at Boekelo CCI*** (the Netherlands) last year. “Rocana today was very beautiful in the frame and went really great. It was fun and I look forward to the cross-country,” said Jung.
In third place currently, only .5 points behind Jung, is fellow German Ingrid Klimke with Horseware Hale Bob (42.0). The leader from Day 1 dressage, Elaine Pen on Vira, is in fourth place now.