Equestrianism: Charles and T'Aime start to hit it off

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Peter Charles and the versatile T'Aime, who was winner of the Puissance in Dublin last Saturday, gained another victory when winning yesterday's Derby Trial on the second day of the British Jumping Derby meeting. The Irishman won by the smallest possible margin, defeating Britain's William Funnell on Comex by 0.01sec.

T'Aime has won a variety of classes since Charles teamed up with him for the outdoor shows in June. "He's multi-purpose and, though he hasn't been my favourite horse, he's growing on me," Charles said. The horse's lack of character can be forgotten now that he is winning classes in the ring.

Charles is a horse dealer as well as the European show jumping champion and T'Aime is likely to change hands soon. "A deal has been agreed but it hasn't yet been finalised," Charles said. The price has not, he says, increased with his successes.

T'Aime will be ridden by Charles in tomorrow's British Jumping Derby. The rider is not in the least concerned that victory in the trial is the kiss of death in the Derby itself. Only once in its 36-year history (when Ireland's Eddie Macken won both contests in 1979 on Boomerang) has the trial victor gone on to win the major class.

BRITISH JUMPING DERBY MEETING (Hickstead, Sussex): Derby Trial: 1 T'Aime (P Charles, Irl) clear, 49.32sec; 2 Comex (W Funnell, GB) clear, 49.33; 3 Primma (M Armstrong, GB) 4 faults, 54.32.