William Fox-Pitt has regained the lead at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials with a clear cross-country round inside the time on four-star first-timer Parklane Hawk.

A delighted William said: “I was down on the clock halfway round, but he coped very well with the undulations and came home full of running. I’m very excited about him for the future.”

Overnight leader after dressage Simone Deitermann crashed out at Capability’s Cutting on Free Easy NRW after having a few sticky moments elsewhere on the course. Both Simone and the horse were unhurt.

A total of 10 riders produced clear rounds inside the time on Mark Phillips’ big and bold cross-country course, which rewarded positive riding and required a very fit horse.

These included the master of judging cross-country pace, Andrew Nicholson, riding Avebury, and reigning Burghley champion Caroline Powell and the evergreen 18-year-old Lenamore. Both completed on their dressage scores of 42.8pen, but Andrew is second on the leader board going into the showjumping after finishing closer to the optimum time.

Caroline said: “Lenamore knows Burghley so well that he kept trying to take me in the direction the track normally runs, and I had to tell him, ‘No, it’s this way!’. But once he worked out where he was going, he was fantastic.”

Mary King dropped just one place to 4th with Kings Temptress, picking up 1.2 time-penalties, while Andrew Nicholson has a second horse in the top 5 after collecting an extra 2.8 on Nereo. Ireland’s Elizabeth Power produced a classy cross-country performance to add just 2.4 to her dressage score of 43.3pen and moved up one place to 6th.

Unfortunately the extra length caught out a few horses, who were clearly tiring and then fell towards the end of the course. These included America’s Michael Pollard and the attractive grey Icarus, who dramatically tipped up jumping into the new water crossing at fence 26. Icarus took a rest in the water before getting back on his feet and walking into the horse ambulance. Michael suffered a badly bruised wrist and the horse is understood to be “a bit banged up“.

Early in the day, Oliver Townend had a difference of opinion with Neo Du Breuil at fence 19. They skidded across the top of the narrow table and had no chance to stand up on landing. The horse was winded and took a little while to get up, but only suffered a stud injury to his chest, which was treated at the on-site veterinary facility.

And Daniel Sibley had been going well on Tarmac Adam right at the end of the day, when the horse left a leg on the first of three hurdle jumps in the main arena and tipped up. Daniel was clearly disappointed, but the crowd gave him a sympathetic round of applause as he left the arena.

Don’t forget to buy Horse & Hound next week (8 September) for our 10-page special Burghley report including comments from course-designer Mark Phillips, analysis of every phase and the full leader board.

Follow Burghley as it happens with H&H Live. Visit www.horseandhound.co.uk/burghley2011live to re-live the cross-country action and join in the live banter during the showjumping.

Results after cross-country

1. Parklane Hawk (William Fox-Pitt) 39.7
2. Avebury (Andrew Nicholson) 42.8
3. Lenamore (Caroline Powell) 42.8
4. Kings Temptress (Mary King) 43.4
5. Nereo (Andrew Nicholson) 45.1
6. Kilpatrick River (Elizabeth Power) 45.7
7. Apache Sauce (Mary King) 46.8
8. Happy Times (Sam Griffiths) 47.1
9. Neuf Des Coeurs (William Fox-Pitt) 49.1
10. Dry Old Party (Tom McEwen) 49.3

View full results