In-form King keeps up the good work

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The Independent Online
Mary King has made a fine start in her bid to gain a fourth major success in the course of four weeks, having ridden an excellent dressage test yesterday on King Solomon III. She now holds the lead at the Blenheim International Horse Trials with last year's winner, Pippa Funnell, 1.6 points behind her on The Tourmaline Rose.

King has recently won the Scottish Championship, the Burghley Horse Trials and the British Open at Gatcombe.

"Solly has a lovely temperament, he's so calm and willing," King said of the eight-year-old, who is now running in his third three-day event. He has an impressive record, having finished second at Le Lion d'Angers in 1994 and first at Compiegne last year.

Mark Todd has moved into joint third place on Vambi Charboniere. He is now on the same score as the two overnight leaders, Philip Surl and Milla Clayton-Bailey, who both made an unexpected appearance in the dressage arena during yesterday morning's coffee break.

It transpired that whoever marked the card of the television crew from Meridian had disregarded the pair's prospects so they had asked for a repeat performance.

BLENHEIM VAUXHALL MONTERREY INTERNATIONAL HORSE TRIALS (Woodstock, Oxon): Standings after dressage: 1 King Solomon III (M King, GB) 40.2 penalties; 2 The Tourmaline Rose (P Funnell, GB) 41.8; 3= Coxley Kontiki (P Surl, GB), James Bigglesworth (M Clayton-Bailey) and Vambi Charboniere (M Todd, NZ ) 45.0; 6 Tiger One (J Johnson, US) 45.6.