By Gary Anderson

American Troy Heikes led the standings in the second qualifier for the reining final at the World Equestrian Games ©FEI/Dirk CaremansThe 21 pairs set to compete in the final of the reining competition at the World Equestrian Games have been decided after the last six places were secured at the Parc des Expositions in Caen today, led by American Troy Heikes.

After Tuesday's first qualifying event, 15 horse and rider pairings had booked a spot in Saturday's (August 30) final.

Heikes, who is competing as an individual, registered the highest score of the day on board Lil Gun Dunit with 220 to seal a place in the decider.

"In the first qualifier we had a problem in his (Lil Gun Dunit) right circles," Heikes said.

"Today, though, he felt really good, we also had one point lead penalty on that side.

"After that I knew we had to earn it back and he gave me all he had.

"Though I am not on the US team, I am part of the squad and am really happy with the way my horse went.

"For me, getting my horse ready for an FEI (International Equestrian Federation) event is all very new and it has been a great experience."

Canadian Cody Sapergia riding Nu Chexomatic set the second highest score with 219 followed by non-professional rider Josh Collins of Britain, whose 218 on board Spook A Little was enough to finish third.

They will be joined in the final by Brazil's Paolo Koury Neto on board Don't Whiz WRB, Stefano Ferri of Italy, riding Rooster Nic and Frenchman Romuald Poard on board Peppys Ruf.

Meanwhile, after the first day of the eventing competition at Haras du Pin, Britain's William Fox-Pitt leads the standings as he partnered Chilli Morning to the only sub-40 score in the dressage discipline, registering 37.5 to lead defending champion Michael Jung of Germany, who is on board FischerRocana FST.

William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning impressed in Normandy during the dressage competition in eventing ©FEI/Trevor HoltWilliam Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning impressed in Normandy during the dressage competition in eventing ©FEI/Trevor Holt

"Chilli is lovely to ride on the flat," said Fox-Pitt, who was individual silver medallist and a member of the gold medal-winning British team at the 2010 Games in Kentucky.

"I'm relieved that we nailed it.

"That was his best test ever."

Jung's compatriot Ingrid Klimke and her mount FRH Escada JS registered 41.7 to sit third on the individual standings, but put Germany top in the team competition ahead of New Zealand, with Britain and the US in third and fourth respectively.

Tim Price, riding Wesko impressed for New Zealand, while 2006 world champion Zara Phillips was disappointed with her outing on High Kingdom with a score of 54.5, leaving her in 21st place.

"He (High Kingdom) broke in the medium trot and my marks didn't come back up after that," said the London 2012 silver medallist.

"He does nice work but he's not a flash horse.

"However, he's a real galloper and I'm hoping to bring some good feedback for the others when I go out first across country on Saturday.

"It's a long way round and if it stays wet then the dressage scores won't matter as much."

The eventing competition continues with the second day of the dressage competition tomorrow followed by the cross-country event on Saturday (August 30).

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related Stories
August 2014: 
Dujardin wins dressage grand prix special gold at World Equestrian Games
August 2014: Dressage team gold for Germany at World Equestrian Games
August 2014: Germany secures early lead in team dressage at World Equestrian Games
August 2014: Sell-out crowd watches World Equestrian Games Opening Ceremony
August 2014: "Magical show" promised at World Equestrian Games Opening Ceremony