This year's Badminton cross country course was very difficult and grueling, and many riders were disqualified or retired from the course. There were quite a few falls as well. William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk had been doing well, but were disqualified after William fell of on one of the last fences. I was also disappointed to here that leading American Rider Clark Montgomery retired from the course after Loughan Glen refused a fence. Now, only one US rider, Tiana Coudray and Ringwood Magister are left, sitting in 21st place.
With the cross country now over, the scoreboard shows Australian Paul Tapner and his mount, Kilronan, to be in the lead with a total of 56.4 points. In second place is Newzealander Tim Price and his horse Ringwood Sky Boy. They have a total of 61.6 points. French rider Pascal Leroy is in third with his horse, Minos de Petra, and scored 62.5. The fourth placer is British rider Oliver Townend and Armada with a score of 62.7. Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh are is fifth with a score of 63.9. A score of 66.3 puts Pippa Funnel and Billy Beware in sixth place. They are closely followed by Tim Lips and Keyflow Nop, who scored 66.5. Harry Meade and Wild Lone are in eighth with a score of 67.4. I'm excited about the person in ninth, a Swede name Ludwig Svennerstal and his horse Alexander. They scored 72. He is tied with Lucy Jackson and Willy Do. Finally, in tenth is Merel Blom and Rumour Has It with a score of 73.8. For the complete score list, click here.
Unfortunately, many of the riders I have been following either retired from the course or got disqualified. Mark Todd nearly fell of at the lake, but he is still competing and is currently in 17th with Leonidas II. However, his other horse, Quimbo, was retired from the course. Andrew Nicholson and his mount, Nereo, were also disqualified after falling at one of the jumps. Even William Fox-Pitt fell of today. Now, only 35 horse and rider pairs remain, less than half of the initial number of 85. There is no doubt that the Badminton course is a really tough four-star course. It should interesting to see how tomorrow's show jumping round will go.