Britain narrowly missed out on a third Samsung Super League win at the Royal International Horse Show this afternoon.
Britain led the competition after the first round on five faults ahead of the Netherlands and America, both on 12.
British pathfinder Nick Skelton picked up four faults with Russel, while Ellen Whitaker was the first-round discard score with eight faults on Locarno 62. William Funnell and Cortaflex Mondriaan picked up a single time-fault before Michael Whitaker produced one of only two clears in the first round with Suncal Portofino 63.
In the second round, three American riders jumped clear to increase the pressure on Britain’s last man Michael Whitaker, who had to jump the only double clear of the competition to secure the win. Unfortunately, this proved a step too far for Suncal Portofino 63, giving America her first win of the series.
American rider Laura Kraut said: “We won this for George [Morris, the American team manager] – believe me, we’ve been driving him crazy up to this point but at last we got it right! We needed to redeem ourselves today and we need to cross our fingers for Dublin and Barcelona; we know we are not out of the woods yet.”
The Netherlands finished third on 20 faults, with France fourth. Belgium finished eighth and last at Hickstead, dropping them to fourth in the league standings.
Germany remains at the head of the Samsung Super League with Britain now second. The win has moved America off the bottom of the standings, with Sweden taking her place. There are just two more legs of this year’s league remaining, taking place at Dublin and the final at Barcelona, which carries double points.