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Duncan Inglis made a magnificent return to the big time when he and Michael Bates’s Lavaletto jumped a great jump-off round to win Friday evening’s Golden Bear Leading Show Jumper of the Year. The man from Sussex came out best in an eight-horse jump-off, beating Tim Stockdale’s early target by almost 3sec.

Although Duncan was previously one of Britain’s top international riders, marriage and a family made him change his priorities and he now concentrates on producing and selling young horses. Lavaletto went to him earlier this season to be sold.

“He’s a really straightforward ride and I can’t see me having him for too much longer,” said Duncan. “Although he’s German-bred, his character and the way he goes is more like a Thoroughbred. I don’t tell him what to do — I just get on and ride him.”

Robert Whitaker had earlier opened his account with a lovely, smooth round on Liz Hunt’s mare, Karina, to win the finnForest Hunter Woodshavings Cup.

Robert, who comfortably beat Dutch star Roelof Bril and Phin Phin by more than 1sec, was delighted with the Dutch-bred Karina. “She’s really versatile and a proper winner,” he said.