Equestrianism: Skelton leads British recovery to claim share of third place

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The Independent Online

Germany won last night's Samsung Super League Nations Cup under floodlights in the huge Aachen arena, with a two-round total of 16 faults and without the reigning European champion, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, being required to jump a second round on Shutterfly. With German flags fluttering in the crowded stands, the four riders who will form the Olympic team defeated the Netherlands (20), with Britain rallying to share third place with the United States (both on 21).

The British had been lying fifth at the half-way stage, with nine faults from Nick Skelton on Arko III, five from John Whitaker on Peppermill and a single time fault from Tim Stockdale on Fresh Direct Corlato, leaving Peter Charles with the discard score of 13 faults on Murka's Rubert.

Improvement came quickly in the second round with Skelton, first to go for the team, jumping a clear round on Arko. Charles also improved with six faults at the second attempt, before Stockdale and Whitaker (the two Britons who will compete at the Olympics) repeated their scores of one and four faults respectively. Corlato looked a picture as she jumped with ears pricked incurring only a single time fault in both rounds.

The Germans have proved, as expected, that they will be hard to beat at the Olympics, but British chances of securing a medal must seem rosier after last night's performances from Stockdale and Whitaker.

Aachen Super League Show (Germany): Samsung Super League Nations Cup: 1 Germany 16 faults; 2 Netherlands 20; 3= Great Britain and USA 21; 5 Sweden 27; 6 Ireland 29. GB scores: Arko III (N Skelton) 8,0; Murka's Rubert (P Charles) 13,6; Fresh Direct Corlato (T Stockdale) 1,1; Peppermill (J Whitaker) 5,5.

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