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Saturday, September 01, 2007  •  13:46 GMT


Andrew Nicholson will now have to wait until half past three to see if he takes the lead at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. After a clear round in the time, Andrew and Lord Killinghurst currently head the leaderboard. The New Zealander can only be beaten by dressage leaders, Australian Clayton Fredericks and Nullabor.

Lord Killinghurst is probably the most experienced four-star horse in the field – although as Andrew is aware, the fact that a horse knows where he is, is not always an advantage. “He clearly knows where he is and has got wise to it all. My big worry beforehand was going to be between fence three and four as that is where the old start and finish was and I know from riding here last year that he seems to think he should be pulling up there. And that’s what it felt like he was thinking,” said Andrew. “He can sometimes do his own thing to a fence but he has the ability. He will get you there and he has the knack of making it look like that was what you were planning all along.”

Only Clayton and Nullabor can also depose William Fox-Pitt and Parkmore Ed from their current second placing. Sadly for Caroline Powell and Lenamore, fourth after dressage, a refusal at Fence 8 has dropped them out of contention for the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge trophy.

Harry Meade and Midnight Dazzler gained another Burghley completion inside the time. “The course does ride big but I think you would be disappointed if you got to Burghley and it didn’t, said Harry who is still eligible for the ‘Under 25’ prize he won last year.

French rider Rodolphe Scherer had the unenviable job of being this year’s trail blazer with Heidi Antikatzides Irish bred Good Enough. The combination however made more than a good enough effort of the job coming home clear albeit with eight time penalties. “I was very happy with him – being number one at Burghley is not easy. I lost a bit of time in the first half as he was pulling too much and I have to keep him anchored until I feel him starting to relax and then I can let him gallop on. He jumped really well and we went the straight way everyway,” said Rodolphe who has a second ride at 15.00 on Fairfax.

British rider Louise Skelton also completed clear on the first of her full brothers Bit Of A Barney while British first timer Angus Smales, at 20-years-old the youngest rider here, also went clear with Cornsay Grouse.