Badminton, Gloucestershire, UK
by Kathy Culpin
An exciting day of cross country at Badminton, hear perfect going and a cool clear day prevailed to ensure that the horses and riders had the best possible going for the challenging 2009 course.
Bonnie Moser jumped superbly up until just after the Hexagon Hedges and jumped off Merloch he was visibly lame but walked back to the stables. Zara Phillips retired both her rides on course. William Fox Pitt had copy book rounds going clear as the trail blazer and incurring just a couple of time penalties on his second ride Idalgo, expensive time penalties they will prove to be as they bump him into 4the. Overnight leader Karin Donkers also incurred time penalties pushing her off first place to 5th. Oliver Townend kept his foot on the accelerator on the 3rd placed Flint Curtis to make the time and has jumped him up to first place on 40.5 hot on Ollie's heels is Lucy Wiegersma and Shaabrak in second place also on 40.5 but Ollie coming under the optimum time retains first place .... A superb round by Italian rider Roberto Rotaroni who lay in 6th place after dressage, nudged him into 3rd place, coming inside the time on Della M Irham de Vaiges.
Tomorrow there's less than a rail between the top 4 riders, all to play for here at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials.
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