Michael Whitaker set the early pace at the FEI World Cup Jumping Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday. Parterning Insul Tech Portofino, Whitaker produced a stunning double clear round in the first leg of the competition, completing the jump-off in 63.14 seconds.

Speedy rounds from Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst, Jessica Kuerten and Beat Mandli soon relegated Whitaker down the leader board, leaving him in seventh position at the end of round one. Markus Ehning, who won Las Vegas 2003, is the overnight leader with Sandro Boy.

Britain’s Robert Smith and Kalusha clocked up one of the quickest rounds of the day but an untimely four pen cost them a top position. Reigning champion Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, partnering Checkmate produced a business-like double clear, taking third position at the end of the day.

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