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Yorkshire's Oliver Townend currently fifth after dressage at Burghley Horse Trials

Oliver Townend and Armada at last year's Burghley Horse Trials Credit: Press Association

30-year-old Yorkshireman Oliver Townend has risen to the challenge on Armada at Burghley Horse Trials, moving fifth at the halfway point on day two with a score of 43.7.

The combination, fourth at Burghley last year, will now look to push on in Saturday's cross-country phase. They jumped clear inside the time at Badminton earlier this year.

"He is not an easy horse, so every good result is exactly that. There were two blips, otherwise he would be closer to the lead.

"It takes a long time, especially with the older horses, to learn about their quirks, and I love riding him every day.

"Burghley has been a very lucky place for me - I've been in the top four three times during the past four years. It is an event I look forward to riding in.

"It is always a very serious cross-country course. In my opinion, it is the most difficult competition in the world to win, and it looks like another serious challenge."

Klimke maintains Burghley lead

Klimke was part of Germany's gold medal winning team at the European Championships last week Credit: Press Association

Germany's Ingrid Klimke comfortably maintained her overnight lead at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in Lincolnshire as the early starters failed to make an impression.

Klimke, who won team gold and individual silver at last week's European Championships in Sweden, held pole position with a dressage score of 39.0 penalties on FRH Butts Abraxxas.

And in damp, murky conditions - a stark contrast to yesterday's warm sunshine - only Jodie Amos, of the first eight riders, went under 50.

Amos posted 49.5 penalties for equal 11th place aboard Matt, the bay gelding she guided to sixth spot at last year's Bramham International competition.

But France's Astier Nicolas, a European team bronze medallist last weekend, could only score 50.3 aboard Quickly du Buguet, and former Great Britain international rider Jeanette Brakewell recorded 55.5 on Let's Dance.

Pippa Funnell and Redesigned will compete later on Credit: Press Association

Klimke, though, was likely to be threatened by a group of later starters that featured former European individual champion Pippa Funnell, 2009 Burghley winner Oliver Townend, world number two William Fox-Pitt and current Badminton title holder Jonathan Paget.

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Top riders head to Burghley Horse Trials

William Fox-Pitt won the bronze medal last week Sweden Credit: Press Association

The top event riders from around the world are in Lincolnshire for the next few days for one of the sport's toughest competitions, Burghley Horse Trials. Sixty seven horse and rider combinations will battle it out to win the grand prize of £60,000.

Yorkshire's Oliver Townend will compete on Armada Credit: Press Association

Door blown off in house explosion

Burghley House on the small screen

It is said to be the greatest of England's Elizabethan houses and as you might expect, Burghley House in Lincolnshire has a history that's as spectacular as its appearance.

The secret side of the stately home in Stamford is being revealed by none other than Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes in a new programme on ITV tonight. Lisa Adlam has been taking a look.

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Council under fire for wash away yellow lines

Down the drain - double yellow lines in Stamford washed away Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Lincolnshire County Council have been criticised after workmen painted double yellow lines on the streets in Stamford which failed to stick. The paint ran into the cracks of the cobblestones in the picturesque market town leaving an unsightly mess.

It is the second time the County Council have come under fire over the painting of the double yellow lines which they were forced to remove last month as they were not deemed to be straight.

Stamford celebrates Christmas

Stamford's Christmas Festival is taking place today. It is the fourth year that the event has run and 20,000 visitors are expected to attend. 200 traders and exhibitors will be showing off their wares. This year the Festival will have a 1950s theme to mark the Jubilee year.

You can find out more information here.

Slowest broadband street in UK

broadband cable Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Broadband users in a Lincolnshire road suffer a download speed 500 times slower than those in a street enjoying the UK's fastest speed, a study has found.

Cromarty Road in Stamford, Lincolnshire, has an average speed of 0.132Mbps, while Willowfield, in Telford and Wrekin, has registered speeds of 70.9Mbps over the past six months, uSwitch.com found.

Lincolnshire has three of the top 10 slowest streets for broadband in the country with speeds around 37 times slower than the national average of 9Mbps, the survey revealed.

According to the study, it would take Cromarty Road residents 25 hours and 15 minutes to download a two hour film, and one hour and 41 minutes to download an album.

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