At the halfway stage on cross-country day of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, it has been all change at the top of the leaderboard.
The shock result of the day so far, is that Michael Jung retired La Biosthetique – Sam FBW, who was holding overnight third, at the Trout Hatchery.
The retirement came after Sam ran out at the first of the triple brushes at the Trout Hatchery. It looked as though Sam never locked on to the fence. Michael then jumped the alternative triple brush and decided to call it a day, retiring.
Gemma Tattersall holds first place at the moment after a speedy round on Arctic Soul. The pair finished four seconds under the optimum time of 11min 14secs to remain on their dressage of 43.
“He was really feisty and I’ve had a horrendous cold and chest infection all week so I felt I couldn’t help ‘Spike’ towards the end of the course as I was so weak,” said Gemma. “I took a long route at the Trout Hatchery where Michael Jung had his run out as I felt I didn’t have the strength in me to hold my line on the direct route. The course rode massive and the time will take some real getting.”
Fellow Brit, Tom McEwen currently holds second on his super-smart 10-year-old Toledo De Kerser. The pair finished with 1.6 time-faults and are 6.1 penalties behind Gemma.
“I’m thrilled with him. People were worried that he would be too careful to be a four-star horse but I’m glad he’s proved he can do it today,” said Tom. “He was really willing and I took all the direct routes I wanted — there’s definitely more to come from him.”
Pathfinder, Tina Cook, made the course look easy on Star Witness and is the only other combination to have finished inside the optimum time so far.
“He’s like a pony and he gave me the most amazing ride. He’s so polite and he just waits for me to give him instruction,” said Tina.
Zara Tindall was eliminated after a fall at the final part of the Trout Hatchery on High Kingdom, while Andrew Nicholson was eliminated on his first ride, Qwanza after a horse fall at the second part of Storm Doris.
The action continues this afternoon and check back to the Horse & Hound website for all the latest news and reports.