New Zealander Caroline Powell is poised to become the fourth rider from her country to win the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the fourth leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™. The 37-year-old, who is based in Scotland, produced a foot-perfect round on the 17-year-old grey Lenamore, one of the best cross-country horses on the international circuit.
Powell has never won a CCI4* before, and she was cautious in her celebrations tonight as she does not have a Jumping fence in hand over two Britons, Oliver Townend, the defending champion on Carousel Quest, and five-times winner William Fox-Pitt, who is lying third on Seacookie.
The New Zealander had to call on all her experience to remain focused during a one-hour delay while medical staff attended to Nicola Malcolm (GBR), Powell’s near neighbour in Scotland, who was airlifted to hospital after a fall with McFly at fence 19, a hedge. Malcolm was later reported to be conscious and likely to be discharged from hospital tomorrow morning.
“The wait didn’t bother me too much as it’s happened to me before and I knew I was going out there on a horse that knows its job so well,” said Powell. “He’s a very special horse and he just loves it.”
Mary King (GBR), the 1996 Burghley winner, was the only rider to complete two clear rounds inside the time, to end the day in fourth on Apache Sauce and fifth on her home-bred mare Kings Temptress.
Dressage leader Ruth Edge (GBR), departed from the reckoning when Two Thyme refused at the hedge out of the water at the Trout Hatchery (fence 10), but 19-year-old Christoffer Forsberg (SWE), fifth after Dressage, had a first Burghley to remember when he went clear, albeit with 15.2 time penalties, on the 18-year-old Forsberg and is now in 20th place. “It is a dream to be here,” he said.
Mark Todd (NZL), a five-times winner and having his first Burghley ride since 2000 , is lying 11th with Major Milestone; Geoff Curran (IRL) is the best of the 25 Burghley first-timers, in 12th place on The Jump Jet; and Pippa Funnell (GBR), enjoying her first return for six years, is in 19th place on Mirage d’Elle, having had 20 penalties for a refusal on the edge of the steep drop at fence 4, the Leaf Pit, rescinded.
Andrew Nicholson (NZL), winner of Burghley in 1995 and 2000, is in 13th place on Armada, but dropped down the order with Avebury after the grey gelding ran out at the second corner at the Land Rover Dairy Farm (fence 17b).
Riders were full of praise for Mark Phillips’s Cross-Country course, where the lines were deemed to be “horse-friendly”. There were 47 clear rounds, 11 inside the optimum time of 10 minutes 54 seconds, and 58 of the 72 starters completed.
“Mark Phillips and his team have done a brilliant job,” said 2009 HSBC FEI Classics™ winner Townend. “It was what you expect Burghley to be: big, exciting and demanding attacking riding.”
1 Caroline Powell/Lenamore (NZL) 38.7 + 0 0= 38.7
2 Oliver Townend/Carousel Quest (GBR) 39.2 + 0.4 = 39.6
3 William Fox-Pitt/Seacookie (GBR) 40.3 + 1.6 = 41.9
4 Mary King/Apache Sauce (GBR) 44.8 + 0 0= 44.8
5 Mary King/Kings Temptress (GBR) 45.3 + 0 = 45.3
6 Clayton Fredericks/Be My Guest (AUS) 45.8 + 0 = 45.8
7 Francis Whittington/Sir Percival lll (GBR) 48.3 + 0 = 48.3
8 William Fox-Pitt/Macchiato (GBR) 46.8 + 2 = 48.8
9 Clea Phillipps/Lead The Way (GBR) 49.5 + 0.4 = 49.9
10 Anna Warnecke/Twinkle Bee (GER) 50.5 + 0 = 50.5
Follow with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk
Audio links of the three top-placed riders at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the fourth leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ are available at:
Caroline Powell http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/BUHT Caroline Powell Cross Country.mp3
Oliver Townend http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/BUHT Oliver Townend Cross Country .mp3
William Fox-Pitt http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/BUHT William Fox Pitt Cross Country.mp3
HSBC FEI Classics™ Standings (after 3 of 5 events)
1 Andreas Dibowski 22
2 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 15
3 Paul Tapner (AUS) 15
4 Sharon Hunt (GBR) 15
5 Ingrid Klimke (GER) 12
6 Phillip Dutton (USA) 12
7 Mary King (GBR) 12
8 Becky Holder (USA) 10
9 Daisy Berkeley (GBR) 10
10 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) 8
HSBC FEI Classics™ Calendar of Events in 2010
1. 21-25 April - Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event (USA)
2. 30 April - 03 May - Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR)
3. 17-20 June - Luhmühlen presented by E.ON Avacon (GER)
4. 2-5 September - Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR)
5. 4-7 November- Les Etoiles de Pau (FRA)
HSBC will contribute US$ 1million to the series over the next three years. Prize-money is awarded, as follows, to the top five riders on the leaderboard after the fifth and final event:
WINNERS OF THE 2009 SEASON
1. Oliver Townend (GBR) - US$ 150,000 (Series champion);
2. Dirk Schrade (GER) - US$ 75,000;
3. Andreas Dibowski - (GER) US$ 50,000;
4. William Fox-Pitt (GBR) - US$ 33,000;
5. Sam Griffiths (AUS) - US$ 25,000
Caption: Caroline Powell (NZL) and Lenamore produced a sparkling Cross-Country performance to take over the lead at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the fourth leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™. (Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI)