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Badminton at End of Dressage Phase

Badminton at End of Dressage Phase

Todd and Nicholson in Top 10 After Dressage

Sir Mark Todd is the best of the Kiwis at the end of the dressage phase after a blustery day at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton International Horse Trails in the United Kingdom, with both his mounts inside the top 10.

Todd and NZB Campino (owned by New Zealand Bloodstock and Todd) sit in fifth equal spot, on 40.5 penalty points, and ninth equal on Leonidas II (owned by Diane Brundsden, Peter Cattell and Todd)with 41.8 after their dressage efforts this morning.

Andrew Nicholson is seventh equal aboard Nereo (owned by Deborah Sellar), sitting on 41, while Quimbo (owned by Deborah Sellar) is in 19th on 44.7.

American Clark Montgomery swept to the lead today with a magical dressage test aboard Loughan Glen that sees them on 33.3 penalty points.

Jonelle Price (nee Richards) was pleased with the efforts of The Deputy (owned by Lucy Sangster, Tim and Jan Morice and which sees them sit in 14th equal place on 43.7.

Neil Spratt is the only other Kiwi in the top 20 with his 44 penalty point ride on Upleadon (owned by Sharon Robbins, Anita Engel and Spratt).

Just over 33 penalty points cover the 83-strong field from first to last.

Todd was very pleased with the efforts of Leonidas II, who was having his first start at four star level.

“He can sometimes get a little fractious but he actually behaved very well in there,” he said. “We fluffed up one change which was annoying, but other than that, I feel he did very well..”

Todd is looking forward to the cross country, which is causing plenty of talk among riders and spectators alike. With heavy rain forecast, and concerns from riders about a particular jump, one obstacle has been removed from the course.

“Leonidas is a very bold horse and a very good jumper . . . he is very scopey, but this is his first four star. I am hoping the predicted rain doesn’t come because I think the horses at the end will find the going that much more difficult.”

Nicholson is also champing to get out on the new course.

“The cross country is why we come here,” he says. “I am a bit surprised they have taken (the cross country jump) out so quickly, but I gather other riders didn’t like it. Riders were asking for difficulty and suddenly they are giving it . . . for sure (the jump) wasn’t easy.”

Jonelle Price (nee Richards) was happy to get the dressage out of the way.

“Now we can get on with the really interesting stuff!”

But she was pleased with The Deputy.

“He was great. He has been improving steadily for the past 12 months and looked a better horse this year. On paper the cross country should suit him – he is a big, scopey relentless galloper and really comes into his own at three day events that have long galloping straits.”

But it was a big course.

“It’s certainly a big step up from last year. You have to be careful what you wish for – this is what we all wished for and we got it. I think it is up to us now to go and do a good job . . . hopefully the rain doesn’t cause too much havoc!”

The cross country goes overnight, with the showjumping on Sunday.

The full score board can be found here .


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