Equestrianism: Iorio's dressage one-two

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The Independent Online
ELIZABETH IORIO, a 24-year-old United States rider who has been based in England for just over a year, made an excellent start to the Pedigree Chum Scottish Championships at Thirlestane Castle, where she now holds the top two places.

Iorio, trained by Captain Mark Phillips, is leading in the Scottish Open Championship on Wily Wizard, who went ahead of her earlier mount, Backdraft. She found the latter in a field in Yorkshire when he was five and bought him for pounds 3,000. "I got him and made him, he's my baby," she said.

Eddy Stibbe, riding for Netherlands Antilles, is third on Rimini Park Fabian, with Ian Stark on Jaybee and Alice Plunkett on Baladin sharing fourth place. Jaybee, who is likely to be Stark's mount for next month's European Three-Day Event Championships, will be having his first cross- country run in a competition since winning at Badminton in May. "It's a big course for his first time back," Stark said.

Arakai, who has been added to the European Championship shortlist, looked close to boiling over in the dressage arena yesterday. Arakai's test began only one hour after Jaybee had entered the arena and it proved to be insufficient time to get him settled. "I reckon that will be 166 penalties," Stark said afterwards. His eventual score of 132 penalties may therefore not have seemed too bad.

SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIPS (Thirle-stane Castle): Scottish Open Championship (after first day of dressage): 1 Wily Wizard (E Iorio, US) 79 penalties; 2 Backdraft (E Iorio, US) 86; 3 Rimini Park Fabian (E Stibbe, Neth Antilles) 89; 4= Jaybee (I Stark, GB), Baladin (A Plunkett, GB) 91.