McKinlaigh finishes Miles ahead at Rebecca Farm
Kalispell, MT, USA
by Kate Green
Gina Miles (USA) and her veteran four-star campaigner McKinlaigh led from the start to win the fourth and final American leg of the 2005-06 FEI World Cup series, at Kalispell, Montana, by a clear 6.3 penalty margin.
Miles, 32, performed the only clear stadium round to hold her lead, having added 13.2 cross-country time penalties to her dressage score of 40.8.
Miles, who finished third in the 2003 FEI Eventing World Cup final at Pau (FRA), has now risen 39 places to sixth in the current FEI Eventing World Cup standings, with 100 points to add to the 30 she earned for fourth place at Norwood (USA) earlier this year.
Runners-up Tiana Coudray (USA) riding King Street swapped places in the final phase at Kalispell with Hawley Bennett (CAN), eventually third on her Athens Olympic horse Livingstone. The two finished a mere penalty apart, with Coudray having just the one rail down to finish on 67.3 penalties, ahead of Bennett (68.3).
A field of 16 started the competition at Rebecca Farm, with 14 completing. There were seven clear cross-country rounds but no one achieved the optimum cross-country time of 5min 14sec.
Sandra Donnell (CAN) and Buenos Aires were fourth (77.8), ahead of Leigh Mesher (USA) and My Beau (103.9), who were fifth despite a cross-country stop and 20 stadium penalties.
Derek di Grazia (USA), who is shortlisted to design the course for the 2012 London Olympics, was seventh on Kildare Cavalier.
There are only three more qualifiers left in this the fourth FEI World Cup series before the final, at Malmo (SWE) (21-24 September), and the action now moves to Schenefeld (GER) this weekend (28-30 July).
Nearly 200 riders have taken part in the series, with the qualifiers at Moscow (RUS) and Martinvast (FRA) yet to come.
Phillip Dutton (AUS) still leads the FEI Eventing World Cup rankings on 170 points from Karin Donckers (BEL) on 165 and the reigning champion Clayton Fredericks (AUS) on 152. Two Britons slot in above Gina Miles, Rodney Powell on 142 and Matthew Wright on 140.
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