Oliver Townend has been given an official warning for over-use of the whip on the cross-country at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials today (Saturday, 5 May).

“The ground jury interviewed Oliver Townend (GBR) regarding his riding of his horses Cooley SRS and Ballaghmore Class at Badminton 5th May 2018,” said a statement from the event.

“They gave him an official warning regarding his over-use of the whip on both horses and told him that the horses would be checked very carefully on Sunday morning for the horse inspection for their fitness to compete in the jumping phase.”

British rider Oliver had clear jumping rounds with 7.2 time-faults on both his horses. Dressage leader Ballaghmor Class, who won Burghley last year, now holds second place overnight and four-star first-timer Cooley SRS sits in fifth.

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New Zealand’s Jonelle Price holds the lead after the cross-country after the fastest round, one second over the optimum time, on the super mare Classic Moet. She and Ballaghmor Class are on the same score of 28, but Jonelle is ahead because she finished closer to the 11min 49sec optimum time over Eric Winter’s cross-country course.

Fifty-six of the 76 starters completed the cross-country course today, with 43 clear jumping rounds. The ground was very soft and tiring after the wet spring and no one made the optimum time.

The competition continues with the horse inspection tomorrow morning at 8.30am, when the ground jury check each horse for its fitness to continue to the final showjumping phase. The first session of showjumping is scheduled to start at 11am and the second session, for the top 20 horses, begins at 2pm.

Check back for more updates from Badminton tomorrow.

Full report from Badminton in next week’s H&H (10 May), including full analysis of every phase and opinion from Oliver Townend, Mark Phillips and Peter Storr.