Equestrianism: Tait reins in a hat-trick

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BLYTH TAIT continued his run of success, which included victories in last month's Bramham and Chantilly three-day events, with a win in The Maverick Althorp Championship yesterday, writes Genevieve Murphy. The New Zealander was riding Delta III, with whom he will defend his world title in The Hague later this month.

'I was flabbergasted that she only had four time penalties, because I just let her coast round,' Tait said of the swift mare, who was fastest of all.

Andrew Hoy, of Australia, was runner-up on Kiwi, but he will not be riding the 15- year-old horse at the World Equestrian Games. Matt Ryan and his Olympic champion, Kibah Tic Toc, may also have to miss the big contest in The Hague. Ryan had a fall with another horse, Regal Style, and may have broken a bone in his shoulder.

Mary Thomson, who finished sixth on King William, was best placed of those on the British short-list for the games. But she was delighted to have only one mistake in the show jumping, King William's weakest phase.

ALTHORP MAVERICK CHAMPIONSHIP (Althorp, Northants) Maverick Championship: 1 Delta III (B Tait, NZ) 39 penalties; 2 Kiwi (A Hoy, Aus) 43; 3 Chaka (W Fox-Pitt, GB) 46; 4 Just an Ace (M Todd, NZ) 50; 5 Just Jeremy (L Murray, GB) 50; 6 King William (M Thomson, GB) 50. The Maverick: 1 Welton Envoy (L Law, GB) 52; 2 Special (D Bartram, GB) 55; 3 Red's Best (A Tucker, GB) 58. The International: 1 Mirrabooka (W Levett, Aus) 45; 2 True Blue Girdwood (P Dutton, Aus) 47; 3 Biko (K O'Connor, US) 49.