Equestrianism: Two horses power Law's campaign

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The Independent Online
Leslie Law and New Flavour, whose joint owners include Sebastian Coe, are ready for their second run in the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Three- Day Event, which begins today in Gloucestershire.

Last year the partnership finished fourth and best of the British. Selected for the Olympic Games, Law had to withdraw at the 11th hour because the horse had bruised a foot.

New Flavour, Law's second mount, will perform the dressage tomorrow afternoon. He has a wonderful temperament and is unlikely to worry about the electric atmosphere whereas Capitano, with whom Law will be first into the dressage arena this morning, can spoil all the good work he has done at home by becoming overwrought.

Only one other - the British Olympic rider Ian Stark - will be allowed to ride two horses. He will be last of the 80 to go on his Olympic mount, Stanwick Ghost, and second to start this morning, with the New Zealand- bred Arakai, who is by Ring the Bell, also the sire of this year's Grand National winner, Lord Gyllene.

Karen Dixon had intended to ride two horses until her 17-year-old warrior, Get Smart, was withdrawn yesterday. She now relies solely on her 1996 Olympic partner, Too Smart.

Mary King and Star Appeal, the winners at Burghley last year, will be well fancied to gain the first British victory since Ginny Leng (now Eliott) won in 1993.

However, the overseas riders, especially the New Zealanders, will again be formidable.

Blyth Tait, the Olympic champion, looks particularly threatening, with the reliable and consistent Chesterfield, the first horse to tackle the Olympic team course last year - when he made it look so easy.

Other strong contenders include three more Kiwis - the world champion, Vaughn Jefferis, Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson - plus Bruce Davidson from the United States and Lucy Thompson, the European champion who rides for Ireland.