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Saturday, September 06, 2008  •  14:08 GMT

Philip Dutton riding WOODBURN

Philip Dutton riding WOODBURN

WOODBURN FELLS THE OPPOSITION

American competitor Phillip Dutton and Woodburn have gone into the lead at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Phillip and the New Zealand bred Thoroughbred were the second combination to come home within the time – the first being Rosie Thomas and Barry’s Best who were first out on the course – and therefore remain on their dressage score, just 0.8pen ahead of second placed William Fox-Pitt and Ballincoola. “It’s pretty demanding out there but he is such a classy horse,” said Phillip a winner at Lexington earlier in the year. A win here could also move Phillip ahead of William in the FEI HSBC Classic series the winner of which will be awarded a US$150,000 bonus at the end of the series of five four-star events which concludes at Les Etoiles de Pau in October .

Frenchman Rodolphe Scherer came through the flags at the finish with Fairfax a happy man. A clear round moved the combination into a current fourth place. Rodolphe and Fairfax, who at 18-years old is one of two to share the title of eldest horse here this year (the other is Dan Jocelyn’s ride Silence) have completed the last two Badminton and Burghley three day events.

There are still several combinations who could take the lead the first of who, Matt Ryan (AUS) and Bonza Puzzle (no 63) are just about to start.