After a disappointing first day of dressage competition, the U.S. eventing team pinned its hopes for an individual medal on two top riders from Virginia -- John Williams of Middleburg and Kim Severson of Keene -- who compete today.

Williams, riding Carrick, and Severson, on Winsome Adante, will try to improve on yesterday's dressage debut, which ended with mixed success for the Americans.

Darren Chiacchia sits fourth on Windfall 2 after scoring 44.6 penalty points.

"I'm very proud of him," Chiacchia said. "There are now two phases to go."

But the other Americans didn't fare so well. Amy Tryon finished 11th on Poggio II, earning a score of 50.6 penalty points. Julie Richards scored 65.4 on Jacob Two Two and is currently 28th.

The dressage portion of the three-day event -- equestrian's equivalent of the decathlon -- is being held over two days because of the number of entries. Team scores mean little at this point since three riders out of five have competed so far for some teams, but only two riders for others. Germany's riders claimed two of the top three places yesterday, with Bettina Hoy well ahead, earning 32.0 on Ringwood Cockatoo.

The strenuous cross-country jumping portion, which could eliminate many riders, will be held tomorrow. The final stadium jumping test comes on Wednesday, when both team and individual medals will be decided.

Darren Chiacchia, atop Windfall 2, performed well for U.S. dressage squad.