Funnell still has double chance

Equestrianism

Pippa Funnell is well placed to repeat last year's victory in the international section of the Windsor Three-Day Event, having finished the dressage phase in first and third places with her two seven-year-old mounts.

As they prepare to tackle today's cross-country, Funnell has a seven- point advantage on the impressive grey Marshlands Rubio. Avril Johnston, the overnight leader on Independent Archie, is now lying second - just 0.8pts ahead of Funnell's other mount, Rainbow Magic.

Marshlands Rubio is a son of Jennie Loriston-Clarke's Olympic dressage partner, Dutch Gold, and he did justice to his illustrious sire with a superb test yesterday. Rubio has wonderful paces and a natural cadence, which combined to make his test stand out above the rest.

This year's one-day event results suggest that Marshlands Rubio is pretty nifty across country as well, having won at Dynes Hall and Tidworth. Independent Archie has also proved his ability to jump solid obstacles. His tricks used to include an escaping act, which involved jumping over a brick wall out of his field.

Archie was so impossible as a youngster that he was almost put down, before Johnston took him on as a four-year-old having been impressed by those leaps over the brick wall. He won the Novice Scottish Championship two years ago and has made the journey from Berwick-on-Tweed to Windsor in order to compete in his first three-day event.

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