Equestrianism: Todd's class broadcasts clear intent

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MARK TODD and Broadcast News brought some cheer to a miserable afternoon yesterday when they produced a superb dressage test in torrential rain to secure the overnight lead in the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

"My hat kept filling with water, every time I tilted my head forward the rain came pouring off," Todd said. But his 15-year-old mount took no notice. "He's a real pro. When he gets in there in front of a crowd, he knows he has to perform."

The New Zealander is now ahead of Pippa Funnell on Supreme Rock and Chris Bartle on Oscar. Meanwhile New Zealand's Blyth Tait, the world and Olympic champion, saw his chances of a first Badminton victory slip away.

Tait has dropped to 48th with Ready Teddy, who boiled over in the dressage on Thursday. Yesterday he withdrew his other mount, the Burghley winner Chesterfield, after it was injured being knocked into by another horse on Sunday.