Equestrianaism: Mackenzie leads trainer

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The Independent Online
EMILY MACKENZIE had the audacity to move one point ahead of her trainer, Lucinda Fredericks, when she took the lead in the Chubb Insurance Section of the Windsor International Horse Trials here yesterday.

Mackenzie, 21, was riding the eight-year-old Doubtless William with whom she would have won the Intermediate Championship at Gatcombe last year but for two fences down in the show jumping, which left them in 12th place. This will be the partnership's third three-day event.

Fredericks is lying second on Darassas with whom she had a fall in the water at Punchestown in Ireland earlier this month. "He jumped in beautifully and then went splat for no reason at all," Fredericks said of the nine- year-old, formerly owned by Angela Tucker, who has been with her since December. Fredericks is "fairly concerned" about the jump into water at fence 20, the first element of the Prince of Wales Pond complex. "I think it's a shame that there's no alternative, because if a horse does stop there it's unlikely to get any further."

Giles Rowsell, director of the trials, said that there had been a deliberate intention to "jack the course up a bit" as Windsor is a qualifier for the three-star events at Bramham and Blenheim.

Julie Tew, who is lying equal fourth on Bally Max in the main Chubb Section, holds a commanding lead in the Masterpiece Section with Henry's Image. Since she has been out of action with severe sciatica for the best part of a month, bringing two horses to Windsor is a serious challenge. Tew, who was a member of Britain's silver medal team in the 1995 Young Riders' European Championships, has been doing "hundreds of exercises", including swimming 30 lengths backstroke every day to strengthen her back.

Fredericks, who rides Dashing Digby in the Chubb Section this afternoon, will be leaving for Australia on Tuesday with the intention of changing her nationality to that of her Australian husband, Clayton. If successful, she is likely to ride Azupa Gazelle in "pure" dressage at the Olympics in Sydney.

Results, Digest, page 28