Equestrianism: Klimke rises early on Sleep Late

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The Independent Online

Ingrid Klimke held a slender advantage after the first day of dressage here yesterday, with the German rider less than one penalty point ahead of two Britons - Ruth Edge on Two Thyme and Terry Boon on Foreign Exchange - who are both lottery funded by UK Sport as part of the World Class Potential programme for riders between 20 and 35 years of age.

Klimke's 15-year-old mount, Sleep Late, is a headshaker, but she took the precaution of changing him into a double bridle when she saw the flies and the sun and she was able to keep him concentrating on the job in hand. "He is a full English thoroughbred and he loves this country," Klimke said of the grey gelding.

Edge, who won her only two pre-Badminton outings (at Lincoln and Belton) on Two Thyme, has spent the winter doing "pure" dressage and it has clearly paid off. At 12 years old the late-developing Two Thyme will be tackling his first four-star cross-country tomorrow.

Boon knows Foreign Exchange has four-star ability since he completed the course at Burghley in 2004.

William Fox-Pitt, who is saving 2004 winner Tamarillo for August's World Equestrian Games, rides Ballincoola, who will be last into the dressage arena this afternoon.

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