Parker hedges her bets

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Bridget Parker, chairman of the British three-day event selectors, has kept her options open for the Olympic Games. The seven horses chosen to travel to Atlanta were due to be announced yesterday, but the committee has opted instead for a shortlist of 11.

Given recent problems, this was hardly surprising. Five of the 17 horses on the original shortlist had to miss Badminton, one of them, Star Appeal, retired after falling at the first cross-country fence, and another three failed the final inspection.

So the list is a compromise. It includes two additional horses, New Flavour and Stanwick Ghost, and two of the absentees, Cosmopolitan II and General Jock. A suitable programme is being devised for Cosmopolitan, General Jock and Star Appeal, so that they can fulfill the selectors' requirements for consideration.

BRITISH THREE-DAY EVENT TEAM SHORTLIST FOR THE OLYMPICS: C Bathe (The Cool Customer), K Dixon (Too Smart), W Fox-Pitt (Cosmopolitan II), K Gifford (General Jock), C Hunnable (Mr Bootsie), L Jennings (Diamond Pedlar), M King (King William and Star Appeal), L Law (New Flavour), G Parsonage (Magic Rogue), I Stark (Stanwick Ghost).