Olympic champion Carl Hester insisted he already feels like a winner at the World Equestrian Games following his outing aboard championship debutant Nip Tuck.
Hester and Nip Tuck scored 74.186 per cent in their first test of the dressage team competition to leave the British team in third place overnight.
Gareth Hughes got the team up and running with a score of 69.714 per cent aboard Nadonna while Hester saluted an early individual victory in Normandy.
“I’m delighted with his test, at his age [ten years old] I couldn’t have asked for more and for both my owner [Jane De La Mare] and myself it’s very exciting,” he said.
“He cost me 1000 Euros, so to me, the fact he’s done so well is like my gold medal to be honest; I know he did his absolute best in there for me and did everything I asked.
“You don’t really know what to expect with this crowd, they’re very enthusiastic and it was such a nice reception going in.
“It’s 24 years since I first rode in my first World Equestrian Games so I'm really happy to come here and get that result."
Hester won Olympic gold in the team competition at London 2012 and Charlotte Dujardin, who was part of that successful British trio, will ride last for Britain after Michael Eilberg.
© Sportsbeat 2014