Skelton is unbeatable at Hickstead

  • British riders again led the way on the penultimate day of this year’s Royal International Horse Show.

    Nick Skelton picked up where he left off the previous day when he and Russel jumped a fantastic round to win the British Grand Prix. From the final draw in a 12-horse jump-off, the man from Warwickshire was again in inspired form to beat last year’s runner-up Mark Armstrong, on Elise, by a comfortable margin.

    As he had been in the previous day’s Nations Cup, the nine-year-old Russel was spooky in round one. But the big grey, who won the Royal Windsor Grand Prix, went superbly against the clock.

    “He learned at Aachen last week and he’s learning again here,” said Nick, who will ride Russel in tomorrow’s King George V Gold Cup.

    Young rider Ben Maher at last got the major victory he deserved when a flying round from an early draw on Equinage Des Aus was good enough to win the British Speed Classic. This was a great performance because Ben, a member of last weekend’s winning European under-21 team, has been riding the horse for only a week.

    He belongs to Dutch rider Sus Kuytens, who’s been staying with me for a few weeks,” said Essex-based Ben, who is trained by Steven Smith. “I’m hoping she might let me keep the ride.”

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