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Saturday, September 04, 2010  •  18:23 BST

LENAMORE SHOWS A CLEAN PAIR OF HEELS

Caroline Powell and 17-year-old Lenamore simply scorched round the cross country and have taken the lead at the end of the second of The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. The combination – the fastest of the day – came home 20seconds inside the optimum time. Second after dressage, the pair moved up to head the leader board after overnight leaders Ruth Edge and Two Thyme had a stop at the Trout Hatchery and retired. “He was fantastic – he certainly doesn’t feel 17 – to me he feels younger and younger,” said Caroline who took over the ride on the Seacrest gelding from owner Lexi Mackinnon in 2004. Between them the two riders have produced Lenamore to an impressive 17 three-day starts.

Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest didn’t quite make the time but only just and they too moved up one place to second and one place nearer to their second and consecutive Burghley title. Comparing the ride to last year Oliver commented; “If anything the ride felt smoother this year – having a gentler fence at the Discovery Valley certainly seemed make for a better ride. But it was a real four-star course – it walked big and it rode big which doesn’t make things it easy for Quest as he tends to jump too big and I have to be careful he doesn’t tip himself up – but he never felt in any danger.”

Five times winner William Fox-Pitt and Seacookie are now third after they too came home clear. The last combination on the course they added 1.6 time penalties to their overnight dressage score. “I had two great rides,” said William who is also in eighth place with Macchiato. “The course rode well and there were a lot of horses coming home with happy faces.”

Just 3.2 penalties now separate the top three riders – less than the equivalent of one pole down in the show jumping – ensuring no margin for error and one of the tightest ever finishes to The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

Mary King enjoyed a good day’s work and follows the top three with fourth and fifth – 14-year-old Apache Sauce is just 0.5 of a penalty ahead of stable mate Kings Temptress – the highest placed mare in the competition, but only just as Australian Clayton Fredericks and the mare Be My Guest are sitting on their tails in sixth.

A great ride from the ground eating Lead The Way brought Leicestershire based Clea Phillips nine places up the leader board while veteran New Zealander Mark Todd showed he had lost none of his magic bringing home Major Milestone home clear, inside the time to move up 18 places. It was the first four-star for the 11-year-old and just the fourth competitive outing for the combination.

Lauren Shannon from Leicestershire is the highest placed Burghley ‘first timer’ in 15th place with the second of her two rides Zero Flight, another by the Thoroughbred Zero Watt.

Nicola Malcolm (22) from Renfrewshire was air-lifted to Coventry hospital after a fall from McFly (no. 69). Her condition is stable and she is now sitting up in bed – McFly was not injured.

Caroline Powell riding LENAMORE