British rider Pippa Funnell retained her overnight lead with the nine year-old Billy Beware after the cross-country phase at Tattersalls Horse Trials in Co. Meath on Saturday.
Funnell and Billy Beware incurred 7.2 time faults on Ian Stark’s challenging cross-country track to finish with a score of 47.6.
Ireland’s Sarah Ennis is the best of the home riders, rising to fifth place overall in the three-star event, with two more Irish riders in the top ten. Ennis went clear with BLM Diamond Delux to finish the phase on her dressage score of 53.1.
Aidan Keogh and the 11 year-old Master Tredstep held their overnight seventh position, and Irish Olympian Mark Kyle with Willow Fairgreen Attraction reaped the benefits of just 0.8 time faults to enter the top ranks with a tenth place.
Ireland’s Clare Abbott is just outside the top ten, in 11th place with the chestnut gelding Euro Prince on 60.2 faults.
Pippa Funnell has now yielded her overnight second place with Billy Landretti, to Italy’s Giovanni Ugolotti and the 12 year-old gelding Stilo Kontika, whose clear round narrowed the gap between them to less than one penalty point, with Australia’s Bill Levett similarly poised in third place with Improvise.
Live commentary (Sat-Sun)
There is less than a rail separating the top four riders.
With the exception of Pippa Funnell’s Billy Beware, all the above mentioned mounts are Irish Sport Horses.
Three withdrawals before the phase meant there were 30 to go across country. Two starters retired on the course and there was one elimination, leaving 26 completions.
Badminton winner Jonathan Paget and Clifton Cognac sits in fifth spot in the CCI2* after a double clear in the cross country, with fellow New Zealander Tim Price and Purbeck ninth on 46.4.
The class is led by Britain’s Kitty King with Persimmion (37.2), with Oliver Townend in both second and third with Cooley Master Class (41.2) and Sandiman II (43.6). Australia’s Paul Tapner is fourth on Indian Mill (44.7).
Price is also 14th on Zibor on 48.3, with Andrew Nicholson 15 on Tilikum and 17 on Teseo.
Clear rounds inside time were the order of the day for many in the CCI2* class, however Blyth Tait and Dassett Courage picked up 1.4 time faults and Paget and Chequers Play The Game had an unlucky run-out which saw them slip right down the field. They had gone into the cross country in fourth spot on the back of their 42.1 dressage score.
There are 60 left into the field going into the showjumping phase.