Switzerland’s Beat Mandli beats a world class field in the Ericsson Challenge at Olympia

Beat Mandli scored for Switzerland in the first major class at this year’s Olympia International Show Jumping Championships when he and the 11-year-old Holsteiner stallion, Lord Z, defeated a world-class field in the Ericsson Challenge.

This group competition, in which the best eight from speed rounds go through against the clock, contained plenty of British interest, but no one could get near Beat, who won by more than 1sec from Germany’s Helena Weinberg on her exciting grey, Silwa Little Gun.

Both Beat and Helena received their early grounding in Britain, as Beat spent several years with Ted and Liz Edgar. Yorkshire-born Helena represented Britain on Nations Cup teams until her marriage.

The crowd had plenty to cheer about when John Whitaker , back at Olympia exactly a year after his life-threatening brain haemorrhage, finished third on his new ride, Quinten. Robert Smith and Mr Springfield were seventh, although the Yorkshireman dominated the early part of the show, winning two classes.

His first win came in the opening Candle Stakes, where Kalusha held off the challenge from Michael Whitaker and Prince Of Wales FCS by 2sec, and Robert followed this up by riding Hennessey to an equally brilliant victory in the Snowman Stakes.

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  • See 3 January issue of Horse & Hound magazine for further reports.