Racing: New Zealand put in the clear by Todd
Sunday 04 October 1998
Mark Todd, twice Olympic champion, and chasing the only important prize to have eluded him, put up yet another outstanding performance to leave both himself and his country in pole position for today's final showjumping phase. They added nothing to their excellent dressage score for a total of 34.00 penalties. First, his horse, Broadcast News, must pass the morning's veterinary inspection, but there should be no worries after this smoothest of rides in a long, rain-soddened speed and endurance test.
Todd was ably supported, as expected, by the reigning Olympic champion Blyth Tait riding Ready Teddy, currently in fourth place individually, and by the defending World Champion Vaughn Jefferis riding the veteran Bounce. Tait's was a copybook round, easily competed within the minimum 13 minutes allowed. Jefferis was also clean, leaving New Zealand an impressive 31.4 penalties ahead of Australia, the reigning Olympic champions. Stuart Tinney blazed a trail for them with a dashing round on Jeepster, and the pair stand in third position individually.
The British team riders made a valiant effort to peg back a hefty dressage deficit which left them only eighth of 17 teams, 52.8 penalties behind. They now stand fifth with France third and the US fourth.
Gary Parsonage with Magic Rouge, Polly Phillipps and Coral Cove, and Nigel Taylor partnering The Frenchman II all rode clear rounds inside the time and British hopes were then concentrated on Karen Dixon with Too Smart. They set off late, after yet more rain. The horse jumped well most of the way, but was tiring quickly before falling just three obstacles from home, when they retired.
Phillipps was delighted with Coral Cove, whose only bad moment came at the first water when he banked both elements after jumping in. "I don't know how he stood up. It was horrendous," she said. "Otherwise he didn't put a foot wrong. He goes forever, a class horse and clever as a cat."
The New Zealanders rode as a team, avoiding the higher risk options yet wasting no time elsewhere. When Todd took the much slower alternative at fence four and jumped the big combinations at 23 in two parts, yet finished easily within the time, the task looked fairly easy and it was disheartening to those who hoped to make up ground on the leader. Bettina Overesch, the dressage leader, also had the German team and Olympic qualification in mind when setting off on Watermill Stream as the only ones who could finish ahead of Todd.
Germany had already lost a team member, Marina Loheit, but Overesch was faultless. The ground was deep by now, though, and their 5.60 time faults left them 5.20 penalties adrift. This allows Todd one showjumping mistake, giving him "my best chance in 20 years of being world champion".
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Manchester City: With Arsene Wenger missing a number of key players, who could start the Community Shield clash?
Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
Chelsea transfer news: Didier Drogba returns to Stamford Bridge on one-year deal
Manchester United: Five things we've learned so far about Louis van Gaal, including his ability to accommodate Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney
Liverpool transfer news: Reds 'in talks' to sign Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan as summer spending threatens to exceed £100m
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...