Equestrianism: Funnell flies the flag for Britain on Ensign
Saturday 10 September 2005
Phillips admitted to being "quite surprised" when she was chosen to be one of Britain's four team members after Funnell's Olympic mount, Primmore's Pride, was injured. Funnell, a regular team member since 1999 and twice winner of the European title, is among the eight Britons contesting individual honours.
Funnell has still made her presence felt with the best British dressage score on the inexperienced Ensign, while Phillips proved able to shoulder her new responsibility with a lovely flowing test on Toytown, which has left her best of the home team in this initial phase.
The German team, among them Frank Ostholt who shares third place with Phillips, now have the advantage over the home side who are aiming for a sixth consecutive team win. Two Britons - Leslie Law, now 11th on his winning Olympic partner, Shear l'Eau, and William Fox-Pitt, who is 12th on Tamarillo - felt harshly marked by the Swiss judge Christian Landolt. Both are hoping to make up ground in today's cross-country.
There are varying views concerning the course designed by Mike Etherington-Smith. Hoy believes that it is nearer four-star level than three, while Fox-Pitt says that it is "nowhere near that." He does, however, concede that the course is big "with plenty of chances to make mistakes".
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