• Short Summary

    Competition was keen on the first day of the dressage event in the annual Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucesstershire on Thursday (12 April).

  • Description

    Competition was keen on the first day of the dressage event in the annual Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucesstershire on Thursday (12 April). Switzerland's Jorgen Albertson just trailed Britain's Sue Faulkner for top points.

    Britain's Princess Anne was at the trials as a spectator, watching her frequent riding companion Lieutenant Mark Phillips compete. Unlike recent similar occasions, press photographers did not gather around the Princess and she was able to mingle with the watching crowd. She was to compete-on the dressage event on the second day, hoping to win a place in the British tea to compete in the European championship i Kiev later this year.

    She greeted Lieutenant Phillips after his ride. He has won the three-day trials for the last two years and this year, riding Columbus, was only half a point behind Albertson after the first day. Columbus is owned by Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne's mother.

    Press photographers remained in the compound set aside for them -- unlike incidents in recent months when they dogged the Princess' footsteps as rumours circulated of a romance between her and Lieutenant Phillips.

    Interest seems to have flagged since official denials of such a romance from Buckingham Palace and the Princess herself.

    The three-day dressage event at the trials is the equestrian version of the pentathlon in Olympic competition -- a test of all-round horsemanship testing every activity of the horse from speed and endurance through jumping and dressage.

    SYNOPSIS: The first day dressage events at Badminton, England in the Badminton Horse Trials, saw keen competition on Thursday. Germany's Klaus Wagner is seen putting his horse Polo through the rigorous event. Dressage in the equestrian equivalent of the Olympic pentathlon.

    At the end of the first day, Switzerland's Jorgen Albertson, riding Pik Bube, was trailing Britain's Sue Faulkne by five points in a field of forty-thee riders.

    Among the spectators at Badminton House in Gloucestershire for the trials was Britain's Princess Anne, not due to compete until the following day.

    She was watching her frequent riding companion Mark Phillips -- winner of the Badminton trials for the last two years -- as he put Columbus through the dressage event.

    Press photographers did not crowd around the couple as at similar events recently. Lieutenant Phillips stood third at the end of the day. The Princess, who denies a rumoured romance with the lieutenant, hopes a Badminton win will secure her a berth on the British team to the European championships.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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