By Catherine Austen

Reigning world champion Ros Canter tops the leaderboard of the CCI4*-S for eight and nine-year-old horses after day one of dressage at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials with a ride she described as “the most talented horse I’ve had”.

Ros (pictured below), who is due to represent Britain once again at the European Championships in Switzerland next week, scored 26.6 on her own and Alex Moody’s eight-year-old Izilot DHI.

She said: “His ability surpasses (her double World Equestrian Games gold medallist) Allstar B’s – Allstar B has the most incredible brain and kind personality, and that’s what carries him to the great heights he has achieved. This horse (Izilot DHI) has more physical ability, so if I can tame the brain, he could be exciting.

“It’s a big ask for him to come here. He can be quite a sharp character, a little bit of a naughty boy at times, but he’s really matured this year and I haven’t sat on a horse as talented at this one. He’s probably working at 60 or 70% of his abilities at the moment and he scores 26, so it is very exciting for the future.”

Just one mark behind Ros in second place is Tom Jackson, who scored 27.6 aboard HH Moonwalk, an eight-year-old owned by Jonathan and Lexi Hambro and May-Britt Wedd.

Tom said: “I’m delighted with the horse – it’s his first time in anything like this at all. He’s an extremely talented horse, but he can be quite sensitive and especially in an environment like that, sometimes shrink into himself. But today he really concentrated and stayed with me.”

Third is Gemma Tattersall, winner of the Chedington Bicton CCI5* just two weeks ago, with a mark of 28.3 on Pru Dawes’ Flash Cooley.