Equestrianism: New Zealand assume control
Friday 02 October 1998
Going early - before the dressage judges have assessed the overall standard - has always been considered a disadvantage. But Todd, second to go yesterday morning, was rewarded for a lovely test on Broadcast News with 34 penalties.
Another good performance from Todd's team-mate, the individual Olympic silver medallist, Sally Clark, on Squirrel Hill, means that the New Zealanders already hold the advantage in a contest that they had been tipped to win long before the Games started.
Todd holds the individual lead from David O'Connor (a member of the US team that is trained by Captain Mark Phillips) and a little-known Australian, Stuart Tinney, with Clark in fourth place.
O'Connor, who won Badminton last year on Custom Made, is now riding the 12-year-old Irish thoroughbred, Giltedge, who "feels fabulous" and like Todd's Broadcast News should be suited by the 32-fence cross-country course which he will tackle tomorrow.
Britain are back in seventh place, but by no means disappointed after personal best scores from the first two members of the team: Polly Phillipps on Coral Cove (now 10th on 47 penalties) and Gary Parsonage on Magic Rogue (who is 29th on a score of 61.4). Neither horse finds dressage easy, but both have excellent cross-country records and are expected to move up in the placings tomorrow.
Phillipps, a practising vet who specialises in horses, has recently been making her calls by bike in order to get fit for the Games. She is amazed to be on the British team ("When you're an amateur rider like me, you never think it can happen") and she is delighted to get the dressage test out of the way.
"The dressage terrifies me, I find it the most stressful part of the competition," Phillipps said. Having been worried that Coral Cove might be "a bit too sharp", she worked him for a good five-and-a-half hours yesterday and was then concerned that she might have overdone it.
But her fears were unfounded. The horse did his best test ever ("He really tried for me") and Phillipps can now look forward to the cross-country while the remainder of the 92 competitors ride their dressage tests today.
Gary Parsonage, who was the first Briton into the dressage arena, looked harshly marked. His sometimes volatile 14-year-old mount, Magic Rogue, was obedient and accurate throughout.
Parsonage has recently been taking lessons with Richard Davison, a member of the Great Britain team competing in "pure" dressage, who finished eighth in Rome's Flaminio Stadium yesterday.
They therefore narrowly achieved their objective, since eighth place means that they are now qualified for the Olympic dressage at Sydney in 2000.
Results, Digest, page 27
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester City paid the price for not dealing with Barcelona's Sergio Busquets
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
Paul Scholes: Jose Mourinho's attempt to influence football's decision-makers is not working. In fact, it may have backfired
Piers Morgan 'hurt' after Arsenal legend Bob Wilson questions his support for the Gunners and labels him a 'pompous individual'
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Ringside tickets set to cost up to £100,000 as Eddie Hearn warns fans could be priced out of fight
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...
£13000 - £13500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...
£18000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Long-established Energy Brokers...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...