Equestrianism: Australian trio send Olympic warning

Megan Jones was the best of the Australian riders who filled the top-three places in the Badminton Horse Trials when the first day of dressage was completed yesterday.

Riding at Badminton for the first time, she leads on Kirby Park Irish Hallmark from Matt Ryan, the 1992 Olympic champion, on Bonza Puzzle with Paul Tapner in third place on Highpoint. Pippa Funnell, the best of the British, is lying fourth on Viceroy II. Jones woke her parents at their Irish Sport Horse Stud near Adelaide to tell them the good news.

The Australians have a fine Olympic record having won the team championship on the last three occasions. "Let this be a warning card," Ryan said yesterday. "We are focused on winning our fourth team medal."

Jones and Kirby Park, a giant of a horse at 17.2 hands, had been equal first after the dressage at last year's Eventing World Cup at Pau in France. She dropped back after a steady cross-country round, mainly because the ground was wet and the horse was not wearing studs on his front shoes. He will have them on tomorrow and Jones intends to push on. "I've always wanted to come to Badminton, it's fantastic here," she said. She had to sell horses in order to make the long journey and she is hoping to be rewarded with a place on the Olympic team.

Ryan's Bonza Puzzle, who is his likely Olympic mount, has shown impressive cross-country form at one-day events this year. Tapner, who has been out twice a week following the local hunt, believes that he knows every inch of the ground which could be a handy advantage.

Funnell had led after the morning session with Sue and Lizzie Bunn's stallion, Viceroy, who is giving his enthusiastic owners their first runner at Badminton. There is, however, a slight question mark concerning his speed and stamina.

"You get into the course nicely enough," Funnell said, referring to Hugh Thomas's 31-fence course that they will tackle tomorrow. "After that questions come one after the other." She is particularly concerned about the complex at Huntsman's Close (fences 21 to 25) and by the serious ditch that follows the Elephant Trap towards the end of the course.

Badminton Horse Trials (Glos): Standings after first today of dressage: 1 Kirby Park Irish Hallmark (M Jones, Aus) 42.0 penalties; 2 Bonza Puzzle (M Ryan, Aus) 44.0; 3 Highpoint (P Tapner, Aus) 44.8; 4 Viceroy II (P Funnell, GB) 47.0; 5 The Psephologist (B Thomas, GB) 48.6; 6 Moon Man (W Fox-Pitt, GB) 49.0; 7 Master Fred (R Waygood, GB) 50.8; 8 Private Colin (S Griffiths, Aus) 51.6; 9 Comanche (J Robinson, GB) 52.4; 10 Shear H20 (L Law, GB) 53.8.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine