The top three after dressage keep their places following the cross-country at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. But the day was not without drama, with two horses losing their lives and problems for several well-placed combinations.

Dressage leader Lucinda Fredericks (pictured) finished 2sec over the time with Burghley winner Headley Britannia. She starts the show jumping 0.2 of a penalty ahead of America’s Kim Severson, clear inside the time on Winsome Adante.

“I did feel quite a lot of pressure today, but she was pinging all the way,” said Lucinda.

Germany’s Hinrich Romeike (Marius Voigt-Logistik) stays third, despite 3.2 time-penalties. He survived a dodgy moment at the Colt Pond (fence 14).

“He jumped big in and I was nearly out the front door,” said Hinrich. “I turned him like a lawnmower and I don’t know how, but he managed to get over the rail.”

Among the less fortunate was Polly Stockton, fourth after dressage with Tom Quigley, who retired after a stop going into the Shogun Hollow (fence 7).

Oliver Townend lost his 11th place when Tom Cruise II had a horse fall after jumping into the big parallel at the Grandis Choice (fences 10-11).

Sarah Cohen is the only British rider in the top 10, having risen to seventh with Hide And Seek II.

“He felt fantastic,” she said. “I didn’t have any hairy moments.”

Jeanette Brakewell, who lies 13th, said after finishing clear inside the time that this will be Over To You’s last Badminton. Assuming the 19-year-old completes, he will join Ballycotton as the only horses to have finished seven Badmintons.

“He doesn’t feel like an old horse, but the time comes to cut back,” said Jeanette. “He will still do one-day events.”

Out of 77 dressage starters, 22 horses were withdrawn. Mary King, who pulled out both of her rides, said she didn’t think the ground was good enough.

But Lucinda Fredericks said: “I was pleasantly surprised by how the ground rode for me and my horse.”

Event director Hugh Thomas thanked those who had worked on the ground round-the-clock over the past few days and said the team will have a re-think on how to cope with unusual conditions in the future.

Andrew Downes’s ride Skwal died after a suspected heart attack following his round. The other horse fatality was Jean-Lou Bigot’s Icare D’Auzay, who sustained a serious arterial injury when a flag broke as he ran out at the Vicarage Vee and speared him. The horse was stabilised under anaesthesia and taken to a vet clinic, but could not be saved.

RESULTS AFTER CROSS-COUNTRY

1. Headley Britannia (Lucinda Fredericks, AUS) 35.6
2. Winsome Adante (Kim Severson, USA) 35.8
3. Marius Voigt-Logistik (Hinrich Romeike, GER) 39.6
4. FRH Serve Well (Andreas Dibowski, GER) 41.6
5. Air Jordan 2 (Frank Ostholt, GER) 42.2
6. Henry Tankerville (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 45.2

Visit www.badminton-horse.co.uk for a full scoreboard.

Log back on tomorrow for another two updates and a blog from H&H eventing editor Pippa Roome.

Buy next week’s Horse & Hound (10 May) for a full analysis of the event, pictures and more on the riders’ reaction to the ground conditions.