McCarthy and Abbott lead the way for Ireland at Badminton
Ireland's event riders have excelled on the opening day of the Badminton Horse Trials with superb scores for 11th and 12th position in the first stage of dressage which continues today.
World silver medallist Padraig McCarthy posted an excellent score of 31.2 on the reliable Mr Chunky for 11th place, while Lisburn's Clare Abbott and Euro Prince are in equal 12th with a score of 31.4.
Great Britain rider Oliver Townend, who arrived from success at the Rolex Kentucky five star event on Cooley Master Class, set the pace again at Badminton with a superb score of 19.7 to take the lead on Cillnabradden Evo.
Tom McEwen on Toledo De Kerser and Piggy French with Vanir Kamira are in second and third for GB with scores of 24.7 and 26.0.
Ireland's Michael Ryan is placed 24th on board Dunlough Striker with a mark of 36.7, just ahead of Joseph Murphy in 28th recording 38.4 with Sportsfield Othello.
Ciaran Glynn shares 33rd place riding November Night to score 39.7, while Newcastle, Co Down rider Jim Newsum and Magennis are in 38th slot scoring 41.1.
Townend's 19.7 dressage score for first place on opening day is the best recorded at the Badminton Horse Trials in 19 years.
Hundreds of Irish supporters are in Badminton this week for the exciting Mitsubishi-sponsored event which has a huge cross country track to be undertaken tomorrow, televised live and live streamed across the globe.