The Verona World Cup show has developed into the biggest of its kind in Italy. The top two places in the World Cup qualifier went to the Netherlands through Gerco Schroder (Eurocommerce Milano) and Leopold van Aasten (VDL Fleche Rouge), but no Briton made the jump-off.
There was more heartening news for our riders when Robert Smith and Robert Whitaker took the top two places in the pre-qualifier on Marius Claudius and Lacroix.
Ellen Whitaker was fourth on Locarno in the grand prix, in which Ludger Beerbaum (Gladdys S) and his sister-in law Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Le Mans) took the first two places.
The only possible description of the opposition for the British riders at the Vienna CSI was “tough”.
Switzerland’s Beat Mandli set a tremendous target in the grand prix, triumphing by almost 1sec on Principal 12 to claim a Mercedes car. After an eight-horse jump-off, Beat’s compatriot Daniel Etter was runner-up on Peu A Peu.
Although no Briton made the grand prix line-up, our riders gained plenty of placings.
John Whitaker and St Honore’s Liquido were runners-up in a two-phase, while James Billington produced a good performance on Iqbal Des Hayettes to finish eighth in a 1.50m speed.
James was then left ruing a fence down on Lady Des Hayettes in the table C. This dropped him from second place to ninth.
Geoff Billington (Lanzelot) and Jackson Reed Stevenson (Larry) finished fifth and sixth in the topscore, while Jackson was also equal third in the knock-out with Raymond.
Read show jumping reports from Medstead Grange, Myerscough Arena, Addington Manor, Rowallan AC and Rockhampton in tomorrow’s Horse & Hound (30 November, ’06)