EQUESTRIANISM: Stunning start proves Todd right

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The Independent Online
MARK TODD always knew that his chestnut partner, Stunning, was capable of an excellent dressage test and he proved that here yesterday by holding the lead when the first phase of the Bramham International Horse Trials was completed.

Todd holds the advantage from the Belgian overnight leader, Constantin van Rijckevorsel, on Otis, and this year's Badminton winner, Chris Bartle, now riding Oscar. Bartle is followed by Ian Stark, also part of last year's winning British team at the European Open Championships, on Jaybee.

Todd's worry over his mount is that Stunning "has had a bit of a thing about water" since a fall. "I hope it's been ironed out," said Todd, who will find out at the 16th and 17th fences on today's cross-country.

A new Professional Event Riders Association, yet to be given official approval by the International Equestrian Federation, was announced yesterday, with Todd as its president. Objectives include raising the level of prize- money, starting with a pounds 5,000 contribution to the Bramham prizes.