Paul Tapner leads the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials after an eventful cross-country day on which five of the top six after dressage failed to complete.
Paul was just one second over the optimum time on the experienced 14-year-old Inonothing to take the top spot from long-time leader Mary King.
“That’s what I planned so it’s lovely when a plan comes together,” said Paul. “As I said earlier in the week when I did my charity course walks, I’ve been placed plenty of times, I’m not here to place any more.”
Paul moved up from 11th equal after dressage — and proved a real cool customer today by admitting he had a full roast dinner between riding his two horses.
Listen to interview with Paul at the end of the day
Mary King holds second place with Imperial Cavalier, 2.3pen behind Paul, having held the lead for much of the day.
Listen to interview with Mary after her cross-country round
German accountant Simone Deitermann is third with Free Easy NRW.
“My horse was fighting me over the first 10 fences, but after the first water [The Lake], he was very very good and I could ride straight on,” she said.
James Robinson is fourth and on track to equal his previous best placing of fourth with Comanche — or even better it, as the scores are close with only one showjump down covering the first four.
Another German, Andreas Dibowski, is fifth with Euroridings Butts Leon, and Daisy Berkeley (née Dick) is sixth with the popular 17-year-old Spring Along.
Dressage leader stops
Many top Brits fared even worse — European champion Miners Frolic (third after dressage) hesitated and left a leg jumping into The Lake (fence 12), giving himself and rider Tina Cook a dunking, which Tina took in good spirits, bowing to the crowd.
Francis Whittington (fifth after dressage) was devastated to fall from Sir Percival III at the Alterian Staircase (fence 24) and Piggy French took a heavy fall when her European silver medallist Some Day Soon left a leg jumping into the Countryside Complex (fence 14).
Final runner William Fox-Pitt withdrew his second horse Seacookie, after feeling he wasn’t quite right in the warm-up.
Louisa Lockwood’s ride Desert Island was put down following a fall at the corner in Huntsmans Close. Louisa did not suffer any serious injuries.
A statement from the press office soon after the accident said that an investigation into the circumstances was taking place and more information would be released when it is available.
RESULTS AFTER CROSS-COUNTRY
1.Paul Tapner on Inonothing (AUS) 44.9
2.Mary King on Imperial Cavalier (GB) 47.2
3.Simone Deitermann (GER) 48.2
4.James Robinson on Comanche (GB) 48.3
5.Andreas Dibowski on Euroridings Butts Leon (GER) 49.5
6.Daisy Berkeley on Spring Along (GB) 50.4
Keep up with the final day tomorrow on www.horseandhound.co.uk, with a report after the trot-up and when the event finishes.
Don’t miss H&H’s 15-page special report in the issue dated 6 May, including day-by-day analysis, comments from Carl Hester and Mark Phillips and much more.