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Two Americans Tie for Rolex Lead

April 23, 1999

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Karen O’Connor and her horse, Prince Panache, were tied with Gayle Molander and her mount, Sir Nicholas, after Friday’s first day of four-star competition in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

O’Connor, of The Plains, Va., and Molander, of Upperco, Md., each finished their dressage tests with 63 penalty points. Reigning world champion Blyth Tait of New Zealand, the 1996 Olympic individual gold medalist, was third with 70 penalty points.

Mark Todd of New Zealand and Bruce Davidson of Unionville, Pa., tied for fourth with 71.

The competition at the Kentucky Horse Park continues with cross-country tests on Saturday and jumping on Sunday.

Four-star events represent the elite level of equestrian competition. Only four annual competitions are given that designation, with the Rolex Three-Day the lone such event in the United States.

A win for Tait in the Rolex Three-Day would give him a shot at a $250,000 prize being offered to any rider who wins the Rolex, Badminton and Burghley four-star events in succession. Tait won the Burghley title in Britain last fall; the Badminton event will be held in Britain in May.

A three-star event is being held in conjunction with the four-star competition. The former continues Saturday with the cross-country phase.

Linden Wiesman of Bluemont, Va., and her horse, Dutch Delph, were the leaders in the three-star competition following the dressage phase, held Wednesday and Thursday.

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