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Friday, August 31, 2007  •  19:22 GMT

Clayton Fredericks on Nullabor

Clayton Fredericks on Nullabor

CLAYTON UPHOLDS THE FAMILY NAME

Clayton Fredericks is so far successfully emulating his wife’s performance of last year. The 40-year-old Australian heads the leader board at the end of the dressage at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials but by a slender margin – just 0.6 of a penalty ahead of Andrew Nicholson and Lord Killinghurst.

Edwin and Peta McAuley’s ten-year-old Nullabor, by The Irish Thoroughbred Creative Plan was last year’s British Open Champion at Gatcombe and was fifth at Luhmuhlen four-star in June. After his test Clayton was relieved that the new warm-up plan seemed to have worked well and that Nullabor remained focussed throughout the test without any of the spooking he is capable of. “I decided to work him a lot harder before his dressage test – it was the third time I had been on him today – and that included taking him for a canter this morning to take the sting out of him which it did,” said Clayton.

Andrew Nicholson and Lord Killinghurst are now in second place with William Fox-Pitt and Parkmore Ed in third and Caroline Powell and Lenamore fourth.

Former British team rider Polly Stockton and Tom Quigley performed another of the days good tests to take fifth place with Andrew Hoy and his 2006 Lexington winner Master Monarch making up the top six.

British first-timer 23-year-old Olivia Haddow and Patris Filius, the only skewbald in the field this year impressed the judges to be joint seventh, at their first four-star event alongside the esteemed company of former winners William Fox-Pitt and Balincoola and the experienced four-star combination of Lucy Wiegersma and Shabraak.

However just seven penalties separate the top ten combinations and all eyes will be on Rodolphe Scherer and Good Enough at 11am – as the Frenchman has the honour of being the first out on the cross-country course. All 73 starters remain in the competition at this stage providing five hours of cross country action and Andrew Nicholson on Silbury Hill will be last out of the start box at 15.48.