EQUESTRIANISM; Britain make the wrong choice

GEORGE BOWMAN Snr and his sprightly team of four black cobs will not be adding to their medal collection for driving at the World Equestrian Games. On yesterday's difficult marathon section on the hills the 63-year- old Cumbrian driver, who has been runner-up for three previous world titles, had "hiccups" in most of the eight hazards. He is lying in 10th place as they go into today's final obstacle driving.

Werner Ulrich, of Switzerland, holds a slender advantage, but he has no less than four drivers within five penalties (the cost of one displaced cone today) so it is bound to be a fraught finale. Michael Freund of Germany (who defeated Bowman when he won in The Hague in 1994) is a mere 0.92pt behind the leader in second place

The British team, lying seventh, would have held a higher place if Karen Bassett, competing here as an individual, had been included in the team instead of her sister, Pippa Thomas, or George Bowman Jnr (the son of George Snr).

Bassett had a setback in the spring when the rein of one of her lead horses became caught on the harness and the whole team of four took off with her. Having been tipped out of the vehicle when it almost turned over, Bassett was horrified to discover that her horses had collided with a car. They sustained only minor injuries but it took time to get them back into gear.

In September, Bassett proved that she was back on form by winning the national championship at Windsor, after the vehicle of George Bowman Snr had turned over on the marathon course. But, by then, the team for the World Games had already been chosen, with Bassett as an individual competitor.

Bowman Jnr (who won a team gold medal in the world championships for horse pairs last year) is representing Britain with a four-horse team for the first time. Young George (as he is known to distinguish him from his father) is normally a bit of a tearaway on the marathon. Yesterday he was held back by the ground, which became more tiring for those who went towards the end of the day, and, possibly equally so, by being told to make sure that he completed the course safely.

Pippa Thomas was delayed through having to make running repairs to her harness, having broken three traces during the marathon section. She happens to be a saddler and harness maker herself, so she will not be looking to change her supplier.

The top 25 show jumpers after Thursday's two-round contest had a well- earned rest yesterday. They will be back in action in the Flaminio Stadium today for two further rounds, which will decide which four riders compete in tomorrow's final in which they all ride their own and each other's horses.

WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES: Driving (horse teams at Pratoni del Vivaro) Positions after marathon phase: 1 W Ulrich (Swit) 141.20; 2 M Freund (Ger) 142.12; 3 T Eriksson (Swe) 142.28; 4 T Monhemius (Neth) 142.92; 5 I Chardon (Neth) 143.16; 6 C Sandmann (Ger) 145.60. GB: 10 G Bowman Snr 153.84; 12 K Bassett 157.72; 24 G Bowman Jnr 181.16; 27 P Thomas 188.04. Teams: 1 Netherlands 286.08; 2 Germany 287.72; 3 Sweden 288.20; 4 Switzerland 309.72; 5 Hungary 310.04; 6 US 321.00; 7 GB 326.20; 8 Belgium 339.60.

Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teacher

£110 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently seeking a ...

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

Training/Learning and Development Coordinator -London

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor