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Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 19:38 UK

British duo set up Badminton duel

BADMINTON HORSE TRIALS
Dates: 7-10 May Coverage: Watch live on BBC Red Button/online 1100-1700 BST Saturday; BBC Two 1300-1500 BST Sunday

DAY THREE LEADERBOARD:
Oliver Townend/Flint Curtis (40.5), Lucy Wiegersma/Shaabrak (40.5), Roberto Rotatori/Della Irham de Vaiges (43.7), William Fox-Pitt/Idalgo (45.2), Karin Donkers/Gazelle De La Brasserie (45.2), Ruth Edge/Mayhem III (45.4), William Fox-Pitt/Macchiato (51.8), Sam Griffiths/Happy Times (53.3), Elizabeth Power/Kilpatrick River (54.0), James Robinson/Comanche (54.0)


Close race for Badminton title

British stars Oliver Townend and Lucy Wiegersma will battle it out on Sunday in the Badminton Horse Trials.

The duo are tied on 40.5 following Saturday's cross country stage, separated only by Wiegersma's accruing of 0.8 of time faults.

However, fellow Brit Zara Phillips' dream is over after she was forced to retire both her horses.

Ardfield Magic Star went lame during the four-mile cross country test, while Toytown came unstuck at fence 15.

Italian surprise package Roberto Rotatori (Irham De Vaiges) is third, more than three penalties behind, with William Fox-Pitt (Idalgo) fourth on 45.2, just ahead of second-day leader Karin Donckers (Gazelle De La Brasserie).

Ruth Edge on Mayhem III is still in contention, less than five penalties behind Townend and Wiegersma in sixth.

Townend, who finished third at Badminton in 2006, was delighted with horse Flint Curtis.

Dog gatecrashes Badminton Horse Trials

"It was one of the most thrilling rides I have had on him," he said. "It was a fantastic feeling - he galloped better than he has ever galloped before."

Wiegersma and her horse Shaabrak, who went one better than Townend and Flint Curtis last year, finishing second at the event, was made to work harder.

"The horse went very well but he gave me a bit of a rough ride," she said. "He was pulling me into the fences and I was having to sit against him right from the beginning. He made me work quite hard from the outset."

Phillips' dual retirement ends her hopes of emulating her father, four-time Badminton winner Captain Mark Phillips.

Phillips was well placed in ninth with Toytown and their Badminton misery follows last year's Olympics blow when an injury to the horse meant they lost any chance of competing in Hong Kong.



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