Keep up to date with all the news from Badminton with HHO’s on-the-spot daily comment from Eventing Magazine Editor Kate Green
Pippa Funnell remains at the head of affairs with a brilliant cross-country round at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton horse trials, but by only 0.8 of a penalty after she lost time by taking the long route in the influential Huntsman’s Close complex near the end of the course.
Andrew Hoy completed an exquisite round on Darien Powers to be one of only five riders home inside the optimum time of 12min 6sec.
William Fox-Pitt, suffering from a groin strain which made him decide to withdraw Moon Man, is third on the relative novice Tamarillo, who was also inside time, ahead of fellow British riders Polly Stockton (Eye Spy ll) and Leslie Law (Shear H20).
The other riders inside time were Andrew Nicholson aboard New York, seventh – he was only two seconds over on the hard-pulling Mr Smiffy, 14th – German rider Andreas Dibowski riding the mare Ginger, and Tristram Owers’ first ride, also a mare, s, who has since been withdrawn due to unsoundness.
Heidi Antikatzides had two terrific rounds and is lying eighth on Michaelmas, although her second ride Fairfax returned to the stables by horse ambulance with an overreach.
The big form upsets were the crashing falls in Huntsman’s Close to Jeanette Brakewell’s first ride, Over To You, and third-placed Rodney Powell (Flintstone), while there was the shock withdrawal in the 10-minute box of Mary King’s King Solomon, who was found to have a mildly irregular heartbeat.
The 1998 winner Christopher Bartle retired after a stop at the Vicarage Vee, which was also the scene of surprise falls for Bettina Hoy, who was winded when Unsung Hero left his hindlegs behind, and Dan Jocelyn from Silence.
Jeanette Brakewell, enduring a bad day, ran out with Plantagenet Of Rushall.
Both Matt Ryan with Kibah Sandstone and Jo Marsh-Smith with her one-day specialist Albie O’G had troubled rounds, while Nicola Tweddle was eliminated.
There was a 30-minute hold when Emily Mackenzie’s Doubtless William lay winded after a fall in Huntsman’s Close, but he got up and walked home.
Things will be tight tomorrow in the show jumping; one fence covers fourth to ninth places.
Results after cross-country:1, Pippa Funnell, 36.81; 2, Andrew Hoy, 37.61; 3, William Fox-Pitt, 41.81; 4, Polly Stockton, 45.80; 5, Leslie Law, 46.20; 6, Welton Envoy, 46.40; 7, Andrew Nicholson, 47.81; 8, Heidi Antikatzides, 48.60; 9, Andreas Dibowski, 48.80;; 10, Kate Lambie, 49.0; 11, Amy Tryon, 49.0; 12, Matt Ryan, 51.40.
Follow the action on the Badminton website www.badminton-horse.co.uk
Read the full report in Eventing magazine on sale next week.
Keep up to date with HHO’s daily online coverage from Badminton Horse Trials, from Thursday 2 May to Sunday 5 May