Britain triumphs in Nations Cup

  • The sun came out for Britain at a rainswept Royal International whenan awesome performance from the home squad of Nick Skelton (Arko), Scott Smith (Cabri D’Elle), Richard Davenport (Luc) and Robert Smith (Mr Springfield) won the Prince of Wales Trophy for the first time since 1997.

    This leg of the Samsung Super League Nations Cup series attracted extremely strong competition, but first-round clears from Nick, Richard and Robert put our team in the driving seat for round two.

    Nick was struggling with a back injury incurred in the morning’s speed class — “I turned to the combination and felt something go” — but none of the capacity crowd would have guessed as he completed a wonderful double clear.

    Scott and Richard, whose ride, Luc, was competing in his first Nations Cup, lowereda fence, but Ireland and France could not make up the leeway and Britain won without Robert Smith having to jump again.

    “Winning here wasn’t our main priority of the season; that’s qualifying for the Olympics, but this is a great boost to the team riders and to show jumping in this country,” said chef d’equipe Derek Ricketts.

    Top performances

    Ireland’s Clement McMahon and Gelvin Clover galloped to victory in the earlier Osborne Refirgerators Speed class, although they were pressed by John Renwick, who produced a lovely round on Julia Biddle’s seven-year-old Cushty.

    Another impressive young horse won the Jumpers Horseline 1.30m championship when the regining Horse & Hound Foxhunter champion, the six-year-old Unbelievable Darco, jumped the only double clear for Guy Williams to defeat a classy field.

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