The cross-country was billed as both a mental and physical challenge for both horse and rider. A course that would challenge the fitness of our athletes, their partnership and trust in one another and would also require focus and strategy from start to finish.
It was a course that saw even the best of the best crumble, and in some places tumble, and it certainly provided a leader board shake up. GBR went into day 3 the dominant nation, filling 8 of the top 10 places, however by the end of the day New Zealand and Australia had clubbed together to give the antipodeans the upper hand.
It was, however, Oliver Townend that reigned supreme at the end of the day. Having piloted dressage leader Cillnabradden Evo round clear with 10.6 time penalties the pair slipped down to the rankings to 7th, but the former Burghley winner Ballaghmor Class put on a display of pure brilliance to power home just 1 second over the optimum time to complete on 21.1.
Piggy French has had the most phenomenal start to the British Eventing season and showed everyone why as Vanir Kamira made light work of Eric Winter's track. Completing with just 0.8 time faults the WEG Team Gold Medallist moved up to 2nd place, 5.3 penalties behind compatriot Townend.
Christopher Burton (AUS) moves up to 3rd and 5th with Graf Liberty and Cooley Lands following two blisteringly quick cross-country rounds. Both horses will remain on their dressage scores going into the final jumping phase.