Fellow U.S. rider Buck Davidson took second place riding his bay mare, Petite Flower, on a score of 30.9, with Doug Payne (USA) climbing four places in the cross-country to finish third riding Vandiver on a score of 34.2.
The glamorous setting of Wellington, Florida (Palm Beach County) attracted equestrian’s most talented eventers who competed under clear blue skies and the Florida sunshine for two days of intense competition all vying for the $100,000 prize money on offer. Sir Mark Todd (NZL) and Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt were included in the strong line-up but it was USA’s Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous who rose to the top of the leader board at the end of day one following the dressage phase, with an impressive score of 24.9. The overnight standings were incredibly tight with just four penalties separating the top six riders.
Marilyn Little continued her good form in the show jumping phase steering RF Scandalous around the course, set by Richard Jefferies, to a stunning clear round and within the time. But defending champion Boyd Martin made sure to keep the pressure on, producing a flawless round on his grey mare, Welcome Shadow, sitting just 1.4 penalties behind the leader as they entered the final cross-country phase.