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King Claims World Cup Victory

Veteran British rider, Mary King, won her first ever FEI* World Cup™ Eventing qualifier, while 24-year-old Britain, Oliver Townend, has taken a massive 50-point lead in the FEI World Cup Rankings. King, who made a last-minute switch from Badminton to the Chatsworth Nissan International Horse Trials, UK, last weekend, was also scoring her first international victory on Call Again Cavalier, a ride she took on after the tragic death of Caroline Pratt in a fall at the 2004 Burghley Horse Trials.

King and the 15-year-old Irish-bred gelding, owned by Bolton Wanderers football team proprietor Eddy Davies, have since been fourth at Burghley in 2005 and members of Great Britain’s silver medal team at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games at Aachen.

"I was so disappointed not to run at Badminton, but this has really made it all worthwhile," said King. "Call Again Cavalier is generally a brilliant jumper, and he lived up to that today in really difficult conditions. This is the first major win of his career, and he’s really deserved it."

King, 45, a three-time Olympian, has won numerous international competitions in an illustrious 20-year career, including team gold medals at World (1994) and European Championships (1991, 1995, 1997), Olympic team silver in 2004, plus two Badmintons (1992 and 2000) and Burghley (1996).

She was second after dressage at Chatsworth (42.8 penalties) then dropped to third with 8 time penalties from going cross-country in heavy rain, and then jumped one of only two clear show jumping rounds as weather conditions continued to deteriorate.

British riders, many of whom had not run their top horses at Badminton on the previous weekend, took all top 12 places. Chatsworth 2006 and Rolex Kentucky winner, Clayton Fredericks, was best overseas rider, finishing 13th on The Frog (77.0).

Britain’s Oliver Townend now leads the FEI World Cup™ Eventing Rankings on 178 points, having added to his win at Burnham Market in April with the runner-up spot at Chatsworth on the same horse, Flint Curtis (54.7), and seventh place on ODT Iron Brew (68.2).

Townend, 24, took home several prizes, including that for finishing nearest the optimum cross-country time – he was fastest with 3.2pen on Flint Curtis – and that of best under-25 rider. "The cross-country rode really well, despite the rain," he said.

Britain’s John-Paul Sheffield scored his best ever international result with third place on Crown Farm Consort (62.8).

Mike Etherington-Smith’s course jumped well, with 22 clear rounds from the 31 cross-country starters, and 27 completions. Chatsworth’s clerk of the course and chief course-builder, David Evans, who will produce the Olympic course in Hong Kong next year, had left no stone unturned with the going at Chatsworth, maintaining a constant program of rolling, harrowing and watering in recent weeks. In the end, though, the rain fell and the going was perfect.

*FEI – International Equestrian Federation

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com


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