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Barbury Horse Trials Day Three: France's Thomas Carlile takes the lead in a thrilling dressage phase

On Saturday afternoon (July 8) at the St. James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials, an extraordinary set of dressage tests unfolded in the third leg of the 2017 Event Rider Masters competition.

One of the favourites leading into the ERM Eventing competition was France’s Thomas Carlile and Upsilon - a nine year-old grey stallion standing 16h2 - pictured. 

And to the delight of the crowd, the combination excelled in the dressage test to produce a stunning dressage test - scoring a mark of 30.9 to put them into the  lead after the first phase and set a new ERM record dressage mark.

Thomas Carlile was visibly delighted:  “He is a very special horse with so much power and he just delivers that bit of extra spark when he has to, seducing the dressage judges and his fans."

"He’s such a team mate and a modern Event horse and we will need to jump clear in the show jumping and be fast tomorrow on cross country if we are to win, but he is up to that and I will enjoy the pressure”.

Records kept on tumbling across the day of the ERM dressage with several personal best (PB) performances produced from the forty strong field of horses and riders. 

Lockeridge-based New Zealander Andrew Nicholson riding his 2017 Badminton winning hero Nereo joined this club - with a score of 34.9 securing them second place and a PB. 

Just 4.1 marks separates Carlile and Nicholson going into Day Two on Sunday - with showjumping and the cross country phases.

Nicholson is well in the hunt for a second win at the third leg of ERM series, as well as a sixth consecutive win at Barbury at CIC*** level:   “I think it might have helped us going after Upsilon’s beautiful test. It made me and Nereo raise our game.  Yes there was pressure, but that’s why we compete at this level”.

Another New Zealand rider holds the third spot.  Despite making an error of course in his dressage, Jesse Campbell, riding the former racehorse Kaapachino, delivered a lovely test scoring 36.1: “He was super.  It’s always nice to perform well at your local event, as we are based just over the hill from Barbury."

"He is a very experienced horse and good thoroughbreds tend to give you their hearts, and that’s what he’s done for me today”.

The final two phases of the £50,000 third leg of the 2017 Event Rider Masters series can be viewed live at Eventridermasters.tv

A highlights programme will be aired across global TV channels from Thursday 13 July - including Sky Sports in the UK at 7pm.

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