Murray profits from misfortune

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The Independent Online
Equestrianism

Lucinda Murray and Night Flight VII, the chance ride whom she sat on for the first time last Wednesday, moved up from overnight second place to win the International Section of the Chubb Insurance Windsor Horse Trials. The result was decided at the final fence in the last round of the contest, where Italy's Andrea Verdina lost his advantage when Rhymin Lion left a pole on the ground.

Verdina had known that the show jumping was his partner's weak spot, but he still finished a close second - ahead of Angela Tucker on Much the Best and her pupil Polly Lyon, on Wat Tyler. Murray's winning mount, Night Flight, is owned by Andy Brown (the official farrier here) and normally ridden by his wife, Sarah, who had expected to be in the mare's saddle until smashing her left arm and dislocating her elbow in a fall at a Cornish event the weekend before.

In view of Murray's forthcoming marriage (she is to wed the Australian rider, Clayton Fredericks, next month) she did enquire about the mare's safety record before she accepted the offer to ride her.

Sarah Brown, who came here from Truro Hospital on Wednesday, was on hand to give advice as Night Flight progressed from sixth after the dressage and second at the end of Saturday's cross-country to win the competition.

Sarah Watkins had earlier confounded the selectors of the junior team, who had not invited her to compete here in the British Junior Championship, by winning the senior Masterpiece National Section on Summerhouse Smerf. Needless to say, the 16-year-old rider is now on the long list for the European Junior Championships to be held at Walldorf in Germany from 21 to 24 August.

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