Equestrianism: Gifford at the double Badminton the target

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The Independent Online
KRISTINA GIFFORD will be aiming for a second successive win when she rides Kings River in the Toyota Three-Day Event, which begins today in Bramham Park.

Last year, the daughter of the racehorse trainer, Josh Gifford, won this international contest in Yorkshire on General Jock, thereby qualifying the big chestnut gelding for Badminton this year.

Bramham's contest is an important step to the major championships, which was demonstrated by General Jock's seventh place at Badminton and his subsequent inclusion on the short list for this year's World Equestrian Games.

Gifford, 23, made a stylish breakthrough to the top of the senior ranks when she rode Song and Dance Man to finish second in last year's European Championships. Jean-Lou Bigot, the young Frenchman who defeated her to take the European title, will be riding Pass'corail at Bramham.

Also in contention are the world champion from New Zealand, Blyth Tait, on Aspyring and the Olympic champion from Australia, Matt Ryan on MP and the mare, Lady Soussa.

BRITISH WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES SHOW JUMPING SHORT-LIST (The Hague, 27 July-7 August): G Billington, A Bradley, K Brown, W Clarke, W Funnell, M Lucas, J Popely, N Skelton, R Smith, J and M Whitaker.