Downpour cannot stop Frostbite

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The Independent Online


reports from Blenheim

Alice Plunkett held the lead when the first day of dressage for the Blenheim Three-Day Event was completed in drenching rain yesterday afternoon. She has a 3.8pt advantage over William Fox-Pitt on Loch Alan, with Terry Boon close behind on The Calculator.

Plunkett, 22, was riding Frostbite, who was originally bought as a hunter for her mother. Having fallen off the horse six times, Celia Plunkett phoned her daughter at Bristol University and suggested that she might like to have the ride.

Fox-Pitt was pleased to be lying second on Loch Alan, the only horse in his Oxfordshire yard that he owns himself. The 11-year-old, who was given to him as a 21st birthday present by his parents, has one-sixteenth Connemara pony blood.

Today he rides Mostly Mischief, formerly partnered by Ginny Elliott, in the dressage phase, while next Monday he goes into training with the British squad that competes in this month's European Open Three-Day Event Championships in Italy.

BLENHEIM INTERNATIONAL THREE-DAY EVENT (Woodstock, Oxon): Standings after first day of dressage: 1 Frostbite (A Plunkett, GB) 40.4pts; 2 Loch Alan (W Fox-Pitt, GB) 44.2; 3 The Calculator (T Boon, GB) 44.6; 4 McRaffles (S Newman, GB) 45.2; 5 Duncan II (D Green, Aus) 46.4; 6 Mad Murdoch (K Meacham, GB ) 46.6.