Gallery: The Ups, Downs, and Emotions of Bicton’s Five-Star Dressage Day

Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules are second in the ring, watched over by an enthusiastic crowd. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s been an incredible first day of sport at the Chedington Bicton Arena Five-Star, as we’ve recapped in great detail in our dressage report — but for every story that makes it into the headlines, there are a million more playing out behind the scenes. We’ll be bringing you some more of them over the next couple of days, but in the meantime, immerse yourself in all the action — and all the emotions — with some of our favourite images from today’s competition.

Oliver gives the in-ring camera crew a thumbs up after his test with MHS King Joules, which sees him go into cross-country in tenth place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Padraig McCarthy and the gleaming HHS Noble Call get to work, and will go into cross-country in 24th place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Canada’s Mike Winter delivers his first five-star test since 2009, riding his ‘horse of a lifetime’ El Mundo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Mike finishes his dressage test on the remarkable gelding, who he nursed back to health after the horse broke his leg as a five-year-old. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Mike Winter’s groom gives El Mundo a kiss after his test, which earned a 29.6 for 13th place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

One of our favourite bits of Mike’s test? His custom Black Lives Matter stirrups. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Sweden’s Malin Josefsson heads into the ring with Golden Midnight… Photo by Tilly Berendt.

…and celebrates after her test, which puts her in 27th place overnight. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Louisa Lockwood and Diamond Ructions post a 31.5 for 16th place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

William Fox-Pitt laughs after getting lost on his way back out of the arena after his test with Oratorio II. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Simon Grieve and the diminutive Mr Fahrenheit III perform the horse’s CCI5* debut test, scoring a 36.3 for overnight 28th. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ireland’s Joseph Murphy returns to England for another five-star run, this time aboard Gorsehill Pearl, the kind-hearted mare his young daughter Daisy enjoys pony rides on at home. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

New Zealand’s James Avery and Mr Sneezy get their second five-star off to a great start, posting a 28.7 and taking 12th place provisionally. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Point those toes: James Avery and Mr Sneezy in action. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

James Avery, groom Frankie Murrell and Mr Sneezy head to the stables after a great test. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Izzy Taylor and Fonbherna Lancer strut their stuff amid the rolling hills of Devon and take overnight fourth place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It takes a village: Izzy Taylor and her team get to work looking after Fonbherna Lancer after their test. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

24-year-old Harry Mutch pilots HD Bronze to a 35.3, which puts them into 26th place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Gemma Tattersall’s head girl Charlotte Overton and ‘yes man’ Chilli Knight wait for Gemma to finish media duties in the mixed zone after their test. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Felicity Collins, the youngest rider in the field at just 23, navigates the first phase with her self-produced RSH Contend OR, earning a 31.9 for 17th place at this early stage. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Big hugs for ‘Mickey’ after a job well done with Felicity Collins. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Angus Smales’s ESI Phoenix looks ready for the fun bit on dressage day… Photo by Tilly Berendt.

…but keeps it under control to post a five-star personal best for Angus of 29.9, putting the pair in 15th place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Will Rawlin — one of just two first-timers in the field — heads towards the ring for his test with VIP Vinnie… Photo by Tilly Berendt.

…and return to the chute, having put a 25.6 on the board for third place going into cross-country. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“We call him Loopy Louis!” Australia’s Sammi Birch sits through a couple of excitable bucks to complete Finduss PFB’s five-star debut test, scoring a 39 for overnight 32nd. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Sammi Birch and press officer Kate Green had down to the media zone. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Sam Griffiths debuts 16-year-old Gurtera Cher, posting a 34 for equal 21st. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Five-year-old Archie Smales waits while dad Angus chats to the TV crews. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Team GB vet Liz Brown chats to Ros Canter and her daughter Ziggy… Photo by Tilly Berendt.

…before Ziggy spots her friend Max March and dashes over to say hi. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

However, in a turn of events most of us can relate to, Max pretends he doesn’t know Ziggy and everyone has to try to style out an uncomfortable social situation. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ros Canter emerges from the thick trees of the chute to head into the ring with debutante Pencos Crown Jewel. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Afterwards, they exit to raucous applause, despite ‘Jasmine’s’ inherent suspicion of people. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Richard Skelt pilots long-time partner Credo III — or Pedro — to 36.4 and 29th place. Richard picked up Pedro for a bargain price as a youngster because of his sharpness, which Richard kept well under control today. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Pippa Funnell beams after a super test with Majas Hope, who sits in the top ten going into dressage and has become a consistent performer in dressage, which has historically been his weakest phase. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Georgie Spence and Halltown Harley on their way to a 35.2 and 25th place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Francis Whittington and DHI Purple Rain show some of what’s to come from the flashy gelding. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Francis laughs with the stewards after his test on ‘Prince’, which put him in 23rd overnight. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“Okay, now tell them that if they send £25,000 in unmarked bills, we’ll release you unharmed”: Bruce Haskell interrogates — erm, interviews — Francis Whittington. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Piggy March’s husband, Tom, holds Vanir Kamira after her test while head girl Amy Phillips tends to the mare. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“She’s got a heart that’s bigger than a lion’s,” beams Piggy, chatting through her test with the media. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tim Price gives Ringwood Sky Boy a pat after his test, which put the pair into fifth place overnight. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Who could resist this face? 18-year-old Ringwood Sky Boy is the oldest horse in the field and makes his 17th five-star start this week. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The look of eagles: Padraig McCarthy’s Leonidas II, formerly the ride of Mark Todd, eyes up the arena before his test. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The look of eagles, part two: Padraig sternly surveys the ring. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

A 28.5 puts Padraig and Leonidas in eleventh going into cross-country. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

David Doel grins as he heads out of the arena with the inexperienced Ferro Point, who sits 31st heading into cross-country. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ferro Point isn’t impressed about the post-test bit check, but acquiesces. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Pippa Funnell gives Billy Walk On a pat after a super test. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

More pats for Billy Walk On… Photo by Tilly Berendt.

…and unbridled joy for Pip, as she realises she’s taken the lead on an unassailable 23.9. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Oliver Townend closes out the day’s proceedings with debutant Tregilder, posting a 29.7 for 14th. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

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