Ros Canter is the current leader at the end of the first day of dressage at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
Ros and Allstar B put in a polished performance to produce a personal best of 23.9.
“He’s very consistent in this phase and really laps up the atmosphere,” said Ros, who was fifth last year. “He has the most amazing mind and he allows me to ride him in a way that creates a lovely picture for people to look at.
Ros admitted she hadn’t ridden the test in over two weeks, after her trainer Ian Woodhead advised her not to.
“I sent him a video of me riding through the test on Allstar B and asked him what he thought,” she explained. “He told me it looked brilliant and that I shouldn’t practise it any more. It made me nervous not spending all last week going through the movements, but Ian was right.”
The 2016 winners Michael Jung and Biosthetique Sam FBW, put in their usual workmanlike, mistake-free performance to score 24.7 and are second.
“He doesn’t like soft ground for dressage, but he knows me, I know him and we both know what to do,” said Michael, who is competing Sam at Badminton for the last time.
It’s a truly international line-up as Japan’s Yoshi Oiwa and The Duke Of Cavan are currently third on 24.9, ahead of USA’s Lauren Kieffer and Veronica.
Oliver Townend, who is on target to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, is currently 10th on Cooley SRS.
The dressage continues tomorrow with the second half of the field. First into the arena at 9.30am will be Izzy Taylor and Perfect Stranger.