Pippa leads amid controversy

  • The overnight scores after cross-country at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials have been controversially altered to take into account the adjustment that was made to the cross-country course for the last 11 horses.

    As the final horses did not have tojump fence 22, the Carisma Puzzle, penalties by earlier riders at this obstacle – that is, riders who went on to complete – were removed from the scoreboard. Time penalties have been adjusted too, with 1.6 taken off everyone’s scores.

    As a result, some riders who finished inside the time have lost placings, due to others having had their penalties adjusted and going ahead of them. The main loser is Jeanette Brakewell, who is now fifth behind Pippa Funnell’s second ride Cornerman andAndrew Nicholson on Mr Smiffy.

    However, scores are so tight going into the show jumping that this may prove academic later this afternoon. Pippa also has less leeway to win over Piia Pantsu – two fences instead of three.

    Bettina Hoy, who went slowly home after her error at fence 22 and is now 19th, has voiced her discontentment. “Badminton doesn’t deserve distances like this [at the Puzzle and at the bounce into the Lake]. All the systems are in place, so why aren’t they used? It didn’t make good pictures.

    “Of course I feel cheated, but what about those riders who fell?”Anna Hasso, whose horse landed on her in the Lake, has sustained a fractured pelvis; Karen Dixon sustained a dislocated shoulder and has been discharged; Bruce Davidson, who suffered a similar injury, has also been discharged, and Vicky Brake had lacerations to her leg sutured.

    All horses presented at the final horse inspection this morning passed. However, Polly Stockton has withdrawn Word For Word, who was lying ninth.

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