The show jumper Felix Haßmann won the first of two special tests at the German Championships in Balve.
The 36-year-old rider from Lienen prevailed after two clear rounds with his gelding Hawkeye.
Behind the 2019 champion, Mario Stevens from Molbergen, who had won the title in 2018, finished second aboard Starissa. Third place went to Marcus Ehning from Borken with the stallion A la Carte. A total of eight couples remained without a penalty point.
The title will be awarded after two more rounds on Sunday (2:15 p.m.). Defending champion Tobias Meyer is not at the start in Sauerland. The 34-year-old professional is riding at the same time at the Nations Cup tournament in Sopot, Poland.