Equestrianism: Hoy steers Moonfleet clear as Britons join chasing pack

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The Independent Online

Andrew Hoy rode Moonfleet to the outstanding dressage test of this year's Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Australian triple Olympic gold medallist now has a 3.9 penalty point advantage going into today's demanding cross-country.

"I owe this test to Bettina," Hoy said of his German wife, who rode the horse in his pre-Badminton competitions and kept him in tune last weekend while Andrew was in America winning the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on Master Monarch.

"Moonfleet told me he's going to do a 36," Bettina told her husband as he mounted the dark brown gelding and this proved almost right when he went into the lead with 36.5 penalties. He is now ahead of Thursday's closely grouped top trio - Germany's Ingrid Klimke on Sleep Late and the two Britons, Ruth Edge on Two Thyme and Terry Boon on Foreign Exchange.

Klimke has been here twice as a spectator, this is the first time she has ridden here having been encouraged by Germany's English trainer, Chris Bartle, who won here in 1998. "He said we could take the soft option or go for the challenge," Klimke said, after taking the latter option.

Following William Fox-Pitt's decision to withdraw Tamarillo (now lying 15th) rather than risk an injury before August's World Equestrian Games in Germany, Pippa Funnell remains unsure as to whether she should run Ensign (now 24th) across country.

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (Glos): Standings after dressage: 1 Moonfleet (A Hoy, Aus) 36.5 penalties; 2 Sleep Late (I Klimke, Ger) 40.4; 3 Two Thyme (R Edge, GB) 40.6; 4 Foreign Exchange (T Boon, GB) 40.9; 5 Flint Curtis (O Townend, GB) 43.5; 6 FRH Little Lemon (A Dibowski, Ger) 44.8; 7 Glenburny du Leou (P Leroy, Fr) 45.4; 8 Gormley (K Donckers, Bel) 45.6; 9= Mr Pracatan (A Hoy, Aus) and GV Top of the Line (O Bunn, Aus) 49.1.