Becker reaches new heights

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The Independent Online
Otto Becker broke the Dublin Horse Show record when he cleared the red wall, standing at a massive 7ft 6in, to win the Kerrygold Puissance on Herrmann's Imagination.

The German rider (who is married to the Olympic dressage gold medallist, Nicole Uphoff-Becker) is reputed to have jumped even higher on the Continent with the 12-year-old mare. Although the Dublin wall looked daunting to the point of downright impossible, Herrmann's Imagination gave the summit only the slightest of nudges.

Patrice Delaveau, of France, became a gallant runner-up when Rivalier removed a top piece of coping. Another Frenchman, Herve Godignon, was third.

Di Lampard was the best of the British when equal fourth on Bond Xtra, having cleared the wall at 7ft in the third round. There were falls for the two other Britons - Robert Smith, who was sixth on Gold, and David Bowen, who finished ninth. Bowen, who had long been wanting to compete in Dublin and is here for the first time, was catapulted out of the saddle when Yorkshire Gent hit the wall in the third round.

The horse then trod on Bowen's shoulder, but the tough Lancastrian was quickly on his feet. Both he and Smith competed in the later Kerrygold Challenge.

Nick Skelton will be first to jump for Britain when he rides Everest Showtime in today's Nations Cup. He will be followed by Michael Whitaker on Midnight Madness, William Funnell on Comex, and John Whitaker on Grannusch. Britain won here last year, but the Irish are hoping for a home victory after their impressive triumph in Aachen.