Sunday, 2 May 2010
Paul Tapner, who has been on scintillating form on the one-day circuit this spring, but who was largely overlooked by pundits for this competition, now heads the field on Inonothing after a brilliant cross-country performance that left him with just 0.4 of a time penalty.
Paul, who had already been round the course once on Stormhill Michael, admitted that he didn’t watch anyone ride the course in between.
“I knew that it was causing carnage, but I slept a bit and tried to keep away as much as possible,” he said.
Mary King and Imperial Cavalier are lying second, less than a showjump behind Paul, on 47.2.
Mary, who was held up on course when Alex Hua Tian’s first ride, Jeans, demolished the second of the corners at the HS1 Farmyard at 15, admitted that it took a while for her to get back into her stride following the hold-up.
“I was talking to the crowd while I was waiting and got a bit distracted. I rode the next fence – the
Countryside Complex [fence 14abcd] – pretty poorly and that shook me up a bit,” she said.
Badminton first-timer Simone Deitermann celebrated her birthday in fine style with a superb round that elevated her into third place with the flamboyant Free Easy NRW.
“I was surprised to do so well as although he is a very good jumper he sometimes goes a little too much forward.”
Pre-event favourites and current European Champions Tina Cook and Miners Frolic endured a dunking in the Lake when the gelding left a leg over the narrow first element, while silver medallist Piggy French’s day was no better – she fell from Some Day Soon when he screwed awkwardly over the first part of the Countryside Complex at 14abcd.
PAUL TAPNER AUDIO INTERVIEW