Friday, September 05, 2008 18:02 GMT
MR DUMBLEDORE WEAVES HIS MAGIC
At the close of dressage at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Ruth Edge and Mr Dumbledore retained the lead they set at the beginning of the day and now go forward to cross-country day with a lead of 5.4 penalties over the second placed combination of Lucy Wiegersma and Shaabrak.
Twenty-eight-year-old Ruth from Cumbria is adamant that she will give the 12-year-old a positive ride. “The conditions after the rain we have had will influence the time but you still have to go out there and attack the course otherwise you are not going to get far,” said Ruth.
Lucy, who with Shaabrak was second at Badminton this year, echoed Ruth’s sentiments. “It is a course that will require an intelligent approach and I will be glad to get fence seven – The Land Rover Discovery Valley – out of the way but otherwise it is a good, bold course.”
Despite the rain that fell throughout the afternoon there were still good tests towards the end of the day. 2004 Badminton winner Tamarillo performed obligingly for William Fox-Pitt to claim his best four-star dressage mark and move up into third place while William enhanced his chances of a fifth Burghley title – equal to the record set by Ginny Elliott and Mark Todd.
“I have grown to accept Tamarillo’s quirks and I never quite know what he is going to do but there is not a lot I can do about his spooking and antics so I was very pleased and also relieved to come out of the arena with that test under my belt,” said William adding that in he has not yet changed to ‘plan B’ for tomorrow’s cross-country ride.
“I might have to rethink the striding – four strides may become five for example – and that’s where riders will have to become reactive,” said William, who with Ballincoola in ninth place has consolidated his chances of maintaining his lead on the FEI HSBC Classics leader board. His nearest rival in the FEI HSBC Classics series, second placed Phillip Dutton, is currently in 15th place with Woodburn.
There has been one withdrawal during the day – Richard Jones (GBR) and Fox On The Run (73) therefore there will be seventy starters tomorrow. The first horse – A Bit of a Barney and Louise Skelton will leave the start box at 11.00hrs.