Equestrianism: King works out Secret to crowning his big year

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Chris King rode The Secret Weapon to claim his first three-day event victory yesterday at the Blenheim International Horse Trials, having completed a cool round under pressure to win the £5,000 first prize from Kristina Cook on Miners Frolic.

Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand, who finished third on Armada, nevertheless received the plum reward of £20,000 by emerging as the winner of the Invesco Perpetual Premier League which was decided on the results of nine major events. Nicholson and Polly Stockton, who was fourth here on Regulus, overtook the absent William Fox-Pitt to take the top two prizes in the League.

King took The Secret Weapon over at the end of 2005 when the owner, Lucinda Langlands, had run into problems with him. The chestnut gelding also gave King a hard time until he found the key with the help of Yogi Breisner, the Great Britain Performance Manager. "I had lessons with Yogi and changed the way I ride him," King said. The pair also won at Barbury Castle and Aston-le-Walls this year.

Britain's Louisa Brassey, 22, in the lead after the dressage on Friday night, was the only casualty on Saturday's cross-country course where she was swept off her horse, Bruce Rock, by the branch of a tree and sustained a broken collar bone.