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New leader at Badminton Horse Trials [VIDEO]

America’s Clark Montgomery is the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials leader after the dressage phase.

In an unusual state of affairs, it had looked like yesterday’s top 4 would retain their places at the head of the leader board until Loughan Glen entered the arena.

This attractive Irish-bred bay gelding by Limmerick, who is the sire of 2 other horses in the field (Shannondale Titan and Magennis), showed excellent quality work in all 3 paces to score 33.3. The only minor blip was a momentary change behind at the end of the extended canter.

Clark said: “I hoped to get a great mark, but I didn’t expect it. The atmosphere at a big event really helps this horse as it keeps him in front of my leg.”

Paul Tapner, Francis Whittington, Lucinda Fredericks and Mark Todd hold the next 4 places with their dressage scores from the first day.

Sara Algotsson Ostholt is equal 5th with Mark, while current live Rolex Grand Slam contendor William Fox-Pitt (Parklane Hawk) and Andrew Nicholson (Nereo) sit equal 7th after making the most of today’s better weather conditions with their 2nd rides.

Other noteable performances of the day include Mary King (42.8pen for 12th), who put her error of course on Imperial Cavalier down to a “a bit of Alzheimer’s” (see video below), and Nicola Wilson, who was moved to tears by the 4-star debut of the attractive 10-year-old coloured mare, Beltane Queen (43 for 13th).

Nicola said: “My horse does get nervous and hold her breath, but she coped with the atmosphere and I’m proud she did everything asked of her.”

Badminton Horse Trials full results after dressage

A dry day and a strong wind has dried the ground considerably, but the decision has been made to remove fence 18B, the middle log at the Swindon Designer Outlet Mound (pictured below), “due to conditions”.

Rider reaction to the course change

Swindon Designer Outlet Mound at Badmintno 2014

Follow tomorrow’s cross-country action with H&H Live

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