TRYON, North Carolina, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Switzerland's Steve Guerdat put down his marker for the show jumping gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games on Wednesday by posting the best time in the speed class competition.
The 2012 Olympic champion, on board Bianca, put down a clean round of 76.33 seconds to finish ahead of Brazil's Pedro Veniss and Australian Rowan Willis.
"It was a long day waiting, we walked the course and it was until nine hours later that I got on my horse," said Guerdat, the second last of 124 riders to compete.
"We knew it was going to be a long day and we had to get ready for that.
"There was nothing crazy going on, there was nothing crazy fast, the fastest horses were not leading so I thought if I stick to my plan I have a go chance to be a top three today.
"I enjoyed my round, she enjoyed jumping so I cannot ask for much more today."
Riders carry their time over into Thursday's qualifying round with the top 25 advancing to the medal round on Sunday. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Tryon. Editing by Nick Mulvenney)