LONDON, May 7 (Xinhua) -- German Olympic rider Ingrid Klimke, riding Horseware Hale Bob, took a slim 0.4 penalty lead over defending champions Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam at the Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics after the cross country competition on Saturday.
"It was a difficult course - there certainly wasn't time to wave to the crowd - but Bobby was so full of himself and was pure pleasure to ride," Klimke said.
Kiwi rider Andrew Nicholson, who was last on course on Nereo, brought the day to a nail-biting climax and is now in third place, just 0.8 behind Klimke.
New course-designer Eric Winter's track proved as influential as anticipated. Dressage leader Christopher Burton of Australia on Graf Liberty had a surprising refusal at the third log element of the Hildon Water Pond (fence 15) and third-placed Irishman Jonty Evans (Cooley Rorkes Drift) was going brilliantly when he had a disappointing run-out at the second corner at fence 21.
Fourth-placed Belgian rider Karin Donckers (Fletcha Van 'T Verahof) and eighth-placed Bettina Hoy from Germany (Designer 10) both retired after refusals and, under the new FEI rule, Sam Griffiths of Australia, 11th on Paulank Brockagh was awarded 50 penalties for missing a flag.
There were 32 clear rounds and 49 finishers from the 81 starters. Only two were inside the time of 11 minutes 34 seconds: Jung and New Zealander Tim Price, who has leapt 30 places to fourth on Xavier Faer. New Zealand legend Mark Todd has two horses inside the top 10, NZB Campino, fifth, and Leonidas, ninth.