Clark and Oscar a winning combination

Polly Clark gained her second win in three outings on Anne Henson's, Oscar, when defeating the local star, Ian Stark, to take the Pedigree Scottish Open Championship here yesterday. Having achieved the best dressage score on Saturday, Clark retained her advantage with clear cross-country and show jumping rounds.

Polly Clark gained her second win in three outings on Anne Henson's, Oscar, when defeating the local star, Ian Stark, to take the Pedigree Scottish Open Championship here yesterday. Having achieved the best dressage score on Saturday, Clark retained her advantage with clear cross-country and show jumping rounds.

Stark, who was also clear in both phases on Rangitoto, admitted to some anxiety in view of the proximity of the Olympic Games. The Scot has two mounts - Jaybee and Arakai - in quarantine and ready to fly out to Australia on Wednesday, so he and the selectors gave a sigh of relief when he came safely through the finish of the cross-country. "I did give some serious thought as to whether or not it was sensible to compete here in view of the possibility of injury," Stark said. "But it's turned out well. I've had my best ever cross-country ride on Rangitoto and it's given me a real boost for Sydney."

Heavy rain had required some amendments being made to the course, with the Keyhole at fence 13 being bypassed. It had been hoped that the jump into the River Leader at fence four could be taken by the planned route - especially after one and a half hours work with a JCB appeared to have dammed the swollen river. But the dam then burst and the obstacle had to be altered, so that horses landed onto a bank instead of into the fast-flowing water. Clark's victory with Oscar, underlined the talents of the 26-year-old rider, who was sixth on the world rankings last year. She had a go at all the quick routes and afterwards declared that Oscar was "just like a machine across country."

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