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Nick Skelton and Big Star win Antwerp grand prix

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Nick Skelton and Big Star continued their outstanding run of form with victory in the grand prix of Antwerp, Belgium yesterday.

This was a hard-fought victory over a challenging track that produced only three first-round clears from a strong field of 50.

“I wouldn’t be here without this horse – he’s from a different planet,” said Nick.

The €23,100 first prize was secured with a classy second clear from the Warwickshire rider and Gary and Beverley Widdowson’s nine-year-old stallion. They were 10sec faster than the only other double clear from Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer (Power Play), with Canada’s Eric Lamaze (Derly Chin De Muze) third.

Britain’s Joe Clee filled fourth spot with Diablesse De Muze, clear in round two after an unfortunate rub in the opener.

“I was a bit unlucky in the first round – I was a bit forward into the double, but there were lots of problems there and the course was generally big and difficult,” said Joe.

At the CSI**** Hagen, Ireland’s Denis Lynch snatched an impressive hat-trick with Night Train 2 while in the three-star at Maubeuge, France, the grand prix went to George Whitaker and Tubana.

Read full reports from all this weekend’s international action in 3 May issue of Horse & Hound