Equestrianism: Britain win jump-off

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL WHITAKER contributed three clear rounds to the British team which defeated Ireland in a jump-off for yesterday's Nations Cup, writes Genevieve Murphy from Aachen, Germany. It was the first British victory in this team contest since 1989.

Both Whitaker brothers - Michael and John - were clear in the first round. So, too, was John Popely on Bluebird, leaving Kelly Brown with the discard score of eight faults on Alfredo.

Popely had problems in the second round. Bluebird was upset after hitting the board on the take-off side of the water and Popely had difficulty in holding her when she made three further errors.

Brown needed a good second round and she achieved it, with just one error. When John Whitaker had a pole off the same fence, the Irish saw their chance of a great victory. It almost happened when Gammon bounced a pole on the huge oxer, the second element of the final treble, but it bounced back to leave both nations on eight faults.

Peter Charles, first into the jump-off for Ireland, took a gamble at the last fence (now reduced to a double) and he paid the penalty when Impulse hit the first element and refused at the second. The Irish fought on, but were defeated on time by the first three Britons - Michael Whitaker, who jumped his third clear round, Popely, who made a single error, and Brown who was clear.