Robert Lemieux went round the cross-country course in top gear yesterday, when he won the first advanced section of the Brigstock Horse Trials. In the process, he defeated the horse's previous rider, Mark Todd, who was second on Broadcast News and third on Kayem.
Lemieux, who rides for Canada, plans to run Just an Ace at Badminton next month. He had been due to take the horse to the big event back in 1991, until breaking his shoulder at a pre-Badminton outing. The horse then went to Todd, with whom he was based for several years before being returned to Lemieux last autumn in time for Burghley where he went clear in both the cross-country and show jumping.
Ian Stark had looked sure to repeat last year's success here with Stanwick Ghost, who had the best dressage score of 23 penalties with just six to add for cross-country time.
Paddy Muir, who was runner-up to Stark at Lincoln last month, had other ideas, however. She flew round the cross-country in the equal fastest time of the day to demote the Scot to second place by one point.
Stark was nevertheless delighted with his Olympic mount, Stanwick Ghost, and with the eight-year-old New Zealand-bred Arakai, with whom he finished seventh in the same section.
Stark may ride both horses at Badminton, though he will see how Arakai goes in his other contests before making a definite decision.Reuse content