Edwards goes clear for title

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Carl Edwards, quoted a 14-1 chance by the bookmakers Ladbrokes, deserved to win the Daewoo Championship at the Horse of the Year Show, Wembley, yesterday, when his own Moneymore, completed two clear rounds in an eight-horse jump-off.

He was followed home for the pounds 5,000 prize, by three of the Whitaker family, of whom Veronique, the only other to jump clear a second time, incurred three time faults on Eldorado to finish runner-up ahead of husband Michael, who had the fastest four faults on Virtual Village Magic Carpet, and his brother John, who started 3-1 favourite, fourth on the veteran Virtual Village Grannusch.

Edwards qualified for the final when winning the Daewoo Grand Prix at the Royal Bath & West in July and rode in his first Nation Cup team at Linz-Ebelsberg on Bit More Candy. He is lucky to be riding at all he told us, as he almost severed a foot in an accident on his father's farm two years ago. It was pieced together with 14 pins, and wire which is now removed, but Moneymore remained with the Edwards virtually unjumped as a six and seven-year-old. The optimism is now earning rewards despite temptingly lucrative offers from foreign buyers for this Irish bred horse.

The survival of the Horse of the Year show has been increasingly threatened in recent years, as despite the attraction of seeing the best show horses and ponies to be exhibited at qualifiers throughout the year, the general public's enthusiasm has been replaced with apathy.

Two months ago, the show seemed doomed, but its 50th anniversary next year is now assured. Grandstand Media who came to the rescue backed by the British Showjumping Association and Wembley Stadium Limited, proudly announced "the show has broken even and has a brighter outlook than it has had for many years."