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Top contenders through to final Equestrian eventing leg
July 31, 2012 / 9:50 AM / 5 years ago

Top contenders through to final Equestrian eventing leg

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Britain's Zara Phillips rides High Kingdom as she competes in the Eventing Cross Country equestrian event at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Greenwich Park, July 30, 2012.Mike Hutchings

LONDON (Reuters) - All the leading medal contenders in Olympic eventing passed a final fitness inspection that eliminated another six horse-rider pairings and are clear to vie for the podium in the show jumping arena on Tuesday.

Riders will jump for team gold in the first round over 15 delicately balanced fences that measure a maximum of 1.75 meters. The top 25 will go through to a second round, where they will contend for individual Olympic glory.

Penalties incurred in the jumping leg will be added to the total accumulated in the weekend dressage phase and Monday's cross-country, which led to the elimination of 15 of the 74-strong field after a spate of falls.

The presence of royal Olympian Zara Phillips in the second-placed British team drew a massive crowd of photographers and journalists to Greenwich Park on a day of gray drizzle that began with the early morning horse inspection.

World number three eventing rider Boyd Martin withdrew after being held for a second viewing by the veterinary team.

Two of the Belgian team, one of the French, the sole Polish rider and one of the last two Canadians left after Monday's cross-country are out after failing or not presenting their horses for inspection.

All members of the leading German, British and Swedish teams went through, including Phillips.

Reporting by Sarah Edmonds, editing by Ed Osmond

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