America’s Laura Kraut hadn’t jumped a clear round for the entire week at Olympia, that was until she contended the grand prix with Miss Independent.
Laura produced a fast clear from second draw in the four-horse jump-off, which was opened with a four-fault round by Robert Whitaker (Lacroix 9).
Britain’s Ben Maher and Robin Hood W were clear and had the crowd’s support on the way to the last fence. It looked as though he’d beaten the target as he landed cleanly, but he had fallen short by just 0.06sec.
“I think my horse may have jumped just that little bit higher over the last and that’s where I lost the time,” he said.
The only threat to Laura now came from Ireland’s Denis Lynch (Nebab’s Son but the second last fell leaving him third.
“Nick Skelton told me not to go too fast, but I held on to the pace,” said Laura, a team gold medallist at this year’s Olympics. “This has been a great end to a great year.”
Ben wasn’t too disheartened with his second place, his result was good enough to crown him leading rider of the show, with £10,000 to show for it.
“I’ve been chipping away all week with good placings,” said Ben. “But would have liked a win after getting a time fault in the World Cup qualifier yesterday.”
Geoff Luckett (Brickfield Boy) claimed an earlier win for Britain in the farewell stakes, while Ellen Whitaker (Ladina B) was equal first in the BIC select six-bar with Belgium’s Philippe Le Jeune (Ideal Du Prissey).
Ireland’s Cian O’Connor (Complete) scored his second win of the week in the BIC select speed stakes.
Don’t miss H&H’s show jumping reports from Olympia in 25 December issue (on sale 23 December) and 1 January issue (on sale 2 January).