Andrew Nicholson (pictured) leads at the halfway stage of the cross-country at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

Andrew finished 9sec inside the optimum time on the experienced Lord Killinghurst to remain on his dressage score of 39.6. Only dressage leaders Clayton Fredericks and Nullabor, due to start at 3.20pm, can now finish the day ahead of him.

Andrew’s only risky moment came at the double of angled skinny hedges in Winners Avenue (fences 20a and b – view this fence), when Lord Killinghurst put in an extra stride. Andrew attributed this to the horse maybe remembering being held here for 45 min another year.

“I could be totally wrong, but it’s a very straightforward fence for an experienced horse to chip in [an extra stride] at,” he said.

William Fox-Pitt holds second place having added just 0.4 of a time-penalty on four-star debutant Parkmore Ed.

“I had plan B in my head over every fence — I was clocking how many more fences I could jump and still go to Blenheim,” admitted William.

“This was a big question for him and he had every right to find some of those fences quite daunting, but I’ve always thought he was a brillant horse and I was pleasantly surprised. He’s a serious contender now for next year’s Olympics in Beijing.”

Caroline Powell is the best-placed rider to have problems so far — she lost her fourth place after dressage when Lenamore stopped at the first element of the Invesco Options rail to ditch at fence 8 (view fence 8).

Slightly under half of those who have started so far on Mark Phillips’s course have jumped clear rounds, with three inside the time.

Louisa Lockwood had a nasty-looking rotational fall when Kiama put down on the hedge parallel at fence 9 (view fence 9) and then couldn’t get his front legs up again. She and Kiama both walked away.

Nick Turner was not so lucky, suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder when he fell off Some Day Soon, who added an extra stride and left his front legs at fence 29, the last element of the three-element turning question in the arena.

Log back on for another update later and don’t forget to buy Horse & Hound next Thursday (6th September) for a full report.

RESULTS AT FRIDAY LUNCHTIME

1. Lord Killinghurst (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 39.6
2. Parkmore Ed (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 41.8
3. Shaabrak (Lucy Wiegersma, GB) 45.6
4. Paris (Piggy French, GB) 51.6
5. Two O Two (Antoinette McKeowen, GB) 57.8
6. Midnight Dazzler (Harry Meade, GB) 59.8

Click here for updated results.