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Burghley Horse Trials - Jonathan Paget leads after Day 2 Dressage

Jonathan Paget

Scores are tight at the top of the leaderboard after dressage at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, but Jonathan (Jock) Paget and Clifton Promise will go into tomorrow’s cross-country test in pole position. The New Zealander held onto his lunchtime dressage lead on a score of 38.8, but just two penalties separate the top five at this stage.

  Jonathon Paget
Jonathan Pagetand Clifton Promise

Of Captain Mark Phillips’ cross-country test, Jock said: “You can never respect the course at Burghley enough. There are plenty of places where it would be easy to have a cheeky 20pen if you’re not careful.”

William Fox-Pitt clocked the only other sub-40 test with Catherine Witt’s Bay My Hero.

The 11-year-old gelding’s test was flowing, consistent and calm and showed none of the over-exuberance he had displayed at Wednesday’s trot-up, when his antics included standing bolt upright on his hindlegs and threatening to escape from his rider’s grasp. 

“He certainly made his mark in the trot-up. He’s been dying to get going and it’s been a long wait for him [until Friday afternoon],” said William. “But ultimately he wants to get on with it and he’s a real showman who wants to please. His marks have been in the mid- to low-40s before, but the 40 barrier is a great one to break. He felt stronger and more established in his work and he deserved that mark.”

William highlighted the four-element Land Rover Trout Hatchery (fences 13 and 14) as one area on the course that could be particularly influential.

“Taken on their own, the individual questions in that combination are not difficult, but the fences are highly related and I think you will see some people make it look very smooth, and others make it look very messy.”

Sam GriffithsYesterday’s leader Sam Griffiths (AUS) has slipped to third with Happy Times on 40.2.

He said: “I think the winner will be right up there after the dressage, but you will need an exceptionally good horse to jump around this track. I think the time will be gettable, but you’ll need to be going darn quick.”

The 2012 and 2013 winners Andrew Nicholson and Rosemary Barlow’s Avebury sit handily in fourth place on a score of 40.5, while this afternoon’s other notable tests came from Ireland’s Aoife Clark, who was delighted with her score of 44.7 with Vaguely North, which leaves her in seventh place, and this year’s Badminton runners-up Oliver Townend and Armada, who lie 11th on 48.3.

Tomorrow’s cross-country will start at 11.30am when the first combination on the course will be Sarah Bullimore and Valentino V.

For the full results, click here.

Story and more information on the Burghley Horse Trials web site

Please visit the site and see the Cross Country preview dvd – a must for all eventing fans.

Story and results ... Go To Burghley Horse Trials web site –