Todd in tandem with two mounts

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The Independent Online
Mark Todd and Bertie Blunt, the horse he rode to victory at Badminton in May, will be well fancied to add the Pedigree Chum Trophy to their awards when the Burghley Horse Trials begin in Lincolnshire this morning. Robert and Melita Howell's 12-year-old chestnut gelding has proved his talent in all three phases and he will have one of the world's greatest riders in the 40-year-old dual Olympic champion from New Zealand.

Bertie Blunt was ineligible for this year's Olympic Games, because he was not registered in New Zealand and, when Kayem injured a shoulder in Atlanta, Todd was without a ride. He may well find compensation at Burghley, where he will be riding two horses.

Todd's first mount will be Susan Lamb's Kingarrie, with whom he was fourth at Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy this year. He would have won the contest had the horse not stumbled in a combination fence for a refusal, which cost him 20 penalties.

Kingarrie will be the second horse into the dressage arena this morning, and the second to tackle Captain Mark Phillips's cross-country course on Saturday. He will be preceded by Bruce Davidson, of the United States, who took the first of his two world titles when he won here back in 1974.

Davidson rides Eagle Lion (the winner at Badminton last year) and Squelch. Todd's compatriot, Andrew Nicholson, also has two mounts, Buckley Province and Cartoon II, the horses with whom he finished first and fourth at Burghley last year.

Two of Britain's Olympic riders, Karen Dixon and Mary King, will be aiming to put the disappointments of Atlanta behind them. Dixon rides her gallant 15-year-old Get Smart, in his 15th three-day event, and King will be on Star Appeal.