Equestrian: Kiwis storm Badminton Horse Trials leaderboard after cross-country

Three New Zealand riders feature in the top 10 after the cross-country round at the Badminton Horse Trials in England.

Andrew Nicholson (27.8 penalty points) is leading the way in fourth place on Swallow Springs, while Tim Price (30.1) is sixth on Ringwood Sky Boy and Virginia Thompson (38.3) is eighth on Star Nouveau, after starting the day in 57th.

The day wasn't so good for Kiwi Sir Mark Todd, who retired on NZB Campino, while Price's other horse Bango also retired from the event.

Fellow New Zealander Jesse Campbell (43.0) is 15th on board Cleveland. 

Out of all the Kiwis, Nicholson has the best chance of winning the prestigious event, but he will need a good run in the show jumping stage on Monday (NZ time), with his opponents ahead needing to slip up.

Britain's Oliver Townend (21.5) is poised to win the event as he topped the standings after the cross-country phase onboard Ballaghmor Class.

He holds a 5.6 penalty advantage over his nearest rival, compatriot Georgina 'Piggy' French, riding Vanir Kamira, with Australian Christopher Burton (27.7) on board Graf Liberty in third.

If Townend stays on that score, he will claim another slice of history and overtake the best-ever Badminton score, posted by Michael Jung in 2016.

Newshub.

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