Equestrianism: Aspyring gives Tait anxious moments: World champion rattles fences but forces Stark to settle for second place

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BLYTH TAIT had an anxious time before and during yesterday's final show jumping phase of the Toyota Three-Day Event until his first prize on the thoroughbred, Aspyring, was secure. The New Zealander, the world champion, defeated Britain's Ian Stark, on Kilcoran, by just two points.

Tait's first worry came when Aspyring, the leading horse after both the dressage and cross country, was found to have a small cut just above his near fore foot.

The vet on duty decided that Aspyring was fit to continue, but there were more worries during the show jumping when he rattled about half of the 12 fences. Only one rail fell, however.

Stark had wonderful clear rounds in both the cross country and show jumping on Frances Mullan's Kilcoran, whom he rode for the first time last month. The British selectors will surely add the Scot to the shortlist for this year's World Equestrian Games after his fine performance. 'He never gave me an anxious

moment,' Stark said of the 10- year-old who was bought at an Irish horse fair seven years ago.

Jean-Marc Favereau, the Frenchman lying second overnight, dropped back to ninth with four show jumping errors on Rancho. But Britain's Andrea Morris, from Lancashire, advanced from 10th to fifth with a clear round on Monks Buster.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 31