Equestrianism: Armstrong shows strength

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The Independent Online
MARK ARMSTRONG took a crashing fall in the practice arena before riding Corella to victory in yesterday's De Lage Landen Grand Prix at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. He had to borrow some reins, because his own broke in the fall, but those problems were set aside when he completed a fast jump-off round with four faults for one mistake, writes Genevieve Murphy.

Michael Whitaker was last to go on Everest Twostep, the former Polydektes whose name has been changed by his new owner Sir Phil Harris. Whitaker was confident of victory until his partner lowered the last fence to finish in third place, nearly two seconds behind the winner.

Whitaker has nevertheless qualified for today's Toyota British Horsemaster, in which four riders jump their own and each others' horses. He joins Armstrong, Marie Edgar and William Funnell for this new contest which will be a searching test of horsemanship.

Earlier Veronique Whitaker (Michael's wife) rode two splendid clear rounds on Everest Fol Amour to win the women's national title for the first time. 'Michael wanted me to save my mare for the Grand Prix but I decided to enter for this one anyway,' Veronique said. 'I don't think he minds too much now that I've won.'

ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW: De Lage Landen Grand Prix: 1 Corella (M Armstrong) 4 faults, 57.63sec; 2 Wessex Zakatak (P Sutton) 4, 58.20; 3 Everest Twostep (M Whitaker) 5, 59.56. Lucas Ladies Jumping Championship (incorporating national women's title): 1 Everest Fol Amour (V Whitaker) clear, 47.48sec; 2 Finance (J Cleeland) 4 faults, 53.14; 3 Mr Ross Poldark (A Kent) 8 faults, 52.54. Leverton Accumulator: 1 Everest Florida (N Skelton) 36pts, 41.55sec; 2 McBumble Bee (P Charles) 36, 42.35; 3 Everest Monsanta (M Whitaker) 36, 43.51. Cob Championship: Woodlands Pippin (N Jubert); Reserve: Madison (S Osborne). Harrods International Driving Grand Prix (standings after dressage): Horse teams: 1 G Bowman (GB) 37.3 penalties; 2 J-E Pahlsson (Swe) 39.3; 3 T Eriksson (Swe) 44.7. Pony teams: 1 P Gammell (GB) 37.0; 2 A Unmussig (Ger) 45.0; 3 Duke of Edinburgh (GB) 51.3.

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