(HONG KONG, August 10) -- Australia defended their position at the top of the rankings at the end of the Dressage phase of the Olympic Eventing competition. The team is on 102.80 penalties, ahead of Germany on a score of 110.50. The United States is third on 115.60.
Individual rankings have changed but Lucinda Fredericks of Australia, on 30.4, holds onto her lead ahead of Karin Donckers of Belgium on 31.70.
Ingrid Klimke of Germany, in third place, received 33.50 points for her ride, marred only when her horse Abraxxas was startled by birds and lost his line slightly in the walk. All three judges gave her a score of nine for rider position. With the score for Hinrich Romeike on 37.4 and Andreas Dibowski on 39.60, Germany rose into second place.
Karen O'Connor of the United States earned 41.90 penalties, which, supported by Phillip Dutton's 40.60, leaves the US team in third. This is Dutton's first Olympics representing the United States, the double Olympic Team gold medalist formerly represented Australia.
Mary King of Great Britain, World No. 3, gave a mixed test on Call Again Cavalier. After a rocky start, the pair regained the form that brought them to second place in the European Championships. She scored two eights and a nine for rider position, leaving her on 38.10.
King's teammate Sharon Hunt earned 43.50 penalties on a tense looking Tankers Town, which kept the British team in the running. They are in fourth place on 121.80.
Italy ranks fifth on 127.40, in front of New Zealand on 136.50 after Joe Meyer turned in the best score for the team (43.90). Sweden has dropped down to seventh after Tubber Rebel, with rider Dag Albert, failed to settle in the arena.
The French team have endured a series of disappointments after losing two of their top combinations and chances are looking slim as they take eighth place on 152.70.
The competition continues on Monday, August 11, with the cross-country phase of Eventing, held at Hong Kong Equestrian venue at Beas River.
Photography: Michael Bradley
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