Australian Christopher Burton maintained his healthy lead at the four-star event in Burghley, England when he added just 3.2 time penalties to his dressage score after a perfect cross country round today in driving rain, writes Colin McClelland

Burton, riding Nobilis 18, stands with a score of 33.4 before tomorrow’s show jumping phase, but New Zealand’s Time Price has moved up from seventh place to second with the Irish Sport Horse Ringwood Sky Boy with total penalties of 44.9.

Conditions on course were so difficult that no rider finished within the time.

Burton joked afterwards: “When I saw the wet conditions, I said to my wife – why don’t we just curl up in bed and take the afternoon off?”

Fellow New Zealander Andrew Nicholson is now in third place at Burghley with Nereo on a score of 47.2, but Germany’s Bettina Hoy with Designer 10 has dropped from runner-up spot to fifth after time penalties on the cross country left her with a score of 53.7.

While former top ten Irish Sport Horse The Blue Frontier, ridden by Australia’s Andrew Hoy, was eliminated during the cross country phase, Ireland’s riders were led by Joseph Murphy and DHI Top Story in 16th place, with Mark Kyle just outside the top 20 with Desmond Justice in 23rd.

Hear Christopher Burton discuss his cross country round today at this link

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Christopher Burton, leading at Burghley