Equestrianism: Charles the great rides high to punish the old country

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RONNIE MASSARELLA, the British team manager, opted for experience in his choice of four riders for today's Nations Cup. Nick Skelton will go first on Everest Limited Edition, followed by Michael Whitaker on Midnight Madness, his brother John on Milton and David Broome (who will be competing in his 113th Nations Cup) on Lannegan.

Broome, 53, was chosen in preference to Warren Clarke who is 30 years younger. 'I think Warren's got a great future, but he could do without the pressure of being on the team at Hickstead,' Massarella said. 'It's not like being on a football team; he'd be out there on his own with no one to cover for him.'

Clarke will be riding in tomorrow's Grand Prix, an individual contest that exerts less pressure than the team competition. He qualified yesterday on Benjumin II, whose only error in the opening round of the Homepride Flour International Stakes was made at the last fence.

The contest was won by Peter Charles, a former British international who opted to ride for Ireland at the end of 1991. 'I love beating the British nowadays,' Charles said, after his win on the chestnut Impulse.

Nick Turner, a show jumper until he turned to eventing last year, had the only clear round in the Eventers Special to win on New Dawn.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 51

(Photograph omitted)