The Whitaker family, John, Robert and Louise, together with Michael and Veronique, descended en masse on the French CSI at Maubeuge.

Michael scored two victories on the trusty veteran,Virtual Village Two Step, who headed two-phase and speed classes.

In the former, John was runner-up on Steps Helsinki, while Louise finished second behind her uncle in the speed on Royal Deer, the nine-year-old Danish-bred mare whom she rode into third place in the 1998 Horse & Hound Foxhunter final.

John finished fifth and eighth in the small grand prix and another speed class with the eight-year-old Ephesia, a horse owned by Maubeuge show director Hubert Delcorte.

Robert was placed twiceon Lord Liberty W, the nine-year-old by Lord Liberty who was bred by Helena and Peter Weinberg and with whom he won the 1999 Olympia young riders final.

The pair finished eighth in a two-phase and sixth in the closing grand prix, which was won for Holland by Wout-Jan van der Schans on Broere Goldenbridge from Irish Nations Cup star Dermott Lennon with Liscalgot.

Lord Liberty Wproduced the fastest time of the jump-off at the expense of one fence.

Veronique did well to reach the decider of the seven-year-old grand prix, where her 2000 Horse & Hound Foxhunter finalist, the Dutch-bred Tropicana, faulted once.

For full report see Horse & Hound magazine 10 May 2001