German Olympic rider Ingrid Klimke rode an exhilarating cross-country round on Horseware Hale Bob at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™, and holds a slim 0.4 penalty lead over defending champions Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam who were outstanding to finish on their dressage score at the end of a thrilling day’s four-star competition.
"I walked the course with Andrew [Nicholson] and I watched Michi [Jung] and I hoped to do as well as them. It was a difficult course - there certainly wasn’t time to wave to the crowd – but Bobby was so full of himself and was pure pleasure to ride," said Ingrid Klimke (GER).
Brilliant Kiwi rider Andrew Nicholson, who was last on course on Nereo, brought the day to a nail-biting climax and is now in third place.
Tomorrow’s jumping phase promises to be an absolute thriller with 0.8 of a penalty separating three greats in the sport.
New course-designer Eric Winter’s track proved as influential as anticipated. Dressage leader Christopher Burton (AUS) on Graf Liberty had a surprising refusal at the third log element of the Hildon Water Pond (fence 15) and third-placed Irishman Jonty Evans (Cooley Rorkes Drift) was going brilliantly when he had a disappointing run-out at the second corner at fence 21.
"Sport’s all about confidence and I’m going to try and take some confidence from it. We made one little mistake, which was my fault, but we’re going home to reboot and aim for the Europeans," said Jonty Evans.
Fourth-placed Belgian rider Karin Donckers (Fletcha Van ‘T Verahof) and eighth-placed Bettina Hoy from Germany (Designer 10) both retired after refusals and, under the new FEI rule, Sam Griffiths (AUS), 11th on Paulank Brockagh was awarded 50 penalties for missing a flag.
There were 32 clear rounds and 49 finishers from the 81 starters. Only two were inside the time of 11 minutes 34 seconds: Jung and New Zealander Tim Price, who has leapt 30 places to fourth on Xavier Faer. Sir Mark Todd (NZL) has two horses inside the top 10, NZB Campino, fifth, and Leonidas, ninth.
"You couldn’t be casual and lollop along," said Andrew Nicholson (NZL). "Perhaps it’s my age, but I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated so hard!"
The home crowd had little to cheer about after the dressage, but strong clears by British first-timers Ros Canter (Allstar B) and farrier Alexander Bragg (Zagreb) have moved them up significantly to sixth and eighth places; Oliver Townend shot up from 47th to sixth on ODT Ghareeb and Gemma Tattersall from 67th to 12th on the ex-racehorse Arctic Soul.
Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
Out of the six U.S. starters only Lauren Kieffer and Veronica and Lynn Symansky and Donner crossed the finish flags. Both pairs had steady rounds and sit in 17th and 24th respectively headed into tomorrow’s show jumping. After retiring on Landmark’s Monte Carlo, Kieffer looked for a completion with Team Rebecca LLC’s Veronica, a 15-year-old KWPN mare (Pacific x Kimbel) doing just that with 29.2. time penalties on Eric Winter’s grueling course.
After the Donner Syndicate’s 14-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred (Gorky Park x Smart Jane) lost a shoe at fence 4, he was slipping on the turns so Symansky took a few long routes to keep Donner’s confidence up and cross the finish line safely.
Lynn Symansky and Donner. Shannon Brinkman Photo
Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot retired after a refusal at fence 8, Katherine Coleman also had a refusal at fence 8 before falling at fence 9 and Elisa Wallace fell from Simply Priceless at the final fence after the horse tired.
Symansky and Donner will show jump in the first group beginning at 11:30 a.m. BST/6:30 a.m. EST tomorrow and Kieffer and Veronica will show jump with the top 20 beginning at 2:45 p.m./9:45 a.m.
The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place October 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland.
Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts (Area I) was scheduled to host two one-day events in 2020 offering Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions. Their May event was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, but their September event is planning to run as scheduled.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
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