Double Olympic champion Michael Jung delivered an outstanding performance at the European Eventing Championships ©FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty Images

Germany's Michael Jung has put himself in line for a fourth continental title, having taken the lead at the end of the dressage phase at the International Equestrian Federation European Eventing Championships.

The double Olympic champion registered an outstanding score of 20.9 penalties on FischerChipmunk Frh, despite a break of pace in the free walk, in front of a home crowd in Luhmühlen.

It could not be bettered, even by defending champion and compatriot Ingrid Klimke, and the German team is now 16.8 penalties ahead of the 2017 winners Great Britain, who have 68.9 on the scoreboard.

Jung has a fine reputation for getting the best out of all sorts of horses.

With FischerChipmunk Frh, he has the added benefit of the 11-year-old by Contendro having been well established at top level by his former rider, Germany's Julia Krajewski.

"Chipmunk is a fantastic horse," Jung, who blamed himself for the mistake, said.

"He's so intelligent and extremely well trained.

"He has a lot of power and sometimes there's a difficult balance between that and keeping him relaxed. 

"Maybe I risked a little bit too much in the walk, so he accidentally broke into trot.

"I nearly liked everything in the test today, just not really the walk – the extended walk especially."

Klimke produced a reliably stellar performance on her regular team partner SAP Hale Bob OLD, a 15-year-old bay gelding, to score 22.2 penalties.

Great Britain's Laura Collett and London 52, the first-day leaders, are now third with 25.5 penalties.

Germany's Kai Rüder and France’s Thibaut Vallette are joint fourth with 25.8 penalties.

Regular Dutch team rider Tim Lips slotted into sixth place on Bayro on a score of 26.0 penalties, and three British riders occupy the next three places.

They are headed by team anchorman Oliver Townend, who has been grounded for some weeks after a fall. 

He put in a solid performance, bar a slight stumble in trot, and is in seventh place on his dual Kentucky winner Cooley Master Class with 27.6 penalties. 

Individual runner Kitty King is eighth on 27.9 penalties.

The 2009 champion Kristina Cook, currently ninth on 28.3 penalties, is back on the team with a well-behaved Billy the Red. 

They were dropped last year, due to the Balou du Rouet gelding putting in some occasionally explosive dressage performances.

The Belgian team, seeking one of the two precious Olympic qualification slots for Tokyo 2020, is in third place with a total of 90.9 penalties.

Attention is now focused on tomorrow's cross-country test designed by Mike Etherington-Smith, who has re-routed the 26-fence track, allowing plenty of alternative routes, while warning that they will cost in time penalties

First out on the course tomorrow will be The Netherlands' Merel Blom and Chiccolino.