Equestrianism: Edgar makes the grade

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The Independent Online
MARIE EDGAR rode her new horse, Everest Winstar, to victory in yesterday's Toyota Grade A Jumping on the opening day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Edgar won by nearly three seconds from Vanessa Roberts on Pacifica with William Funnell on Saigon in third place.

All three might have expected a stronger challenge from Michael Whitaker, who was the last to jump on Everest Polydektes. Instead he ambled round for a slow clear round and fourth prize. 'It was only worth pounds 275 to the winner, no point in hurrying for that,' Whitaker said. Nevertheless, it was a let-down for the public, who were anticipating an exciting climax to the jump-off.

Edgar will defend the national women's title on Winstar tomorrow. She may also be involved in Saturday's British Horsemaster, in which four riders will compete on each other's horses as well as their own and for which yesterday's event was the first qualifier.

Though Edgar has won four individual gold medals at European Championships (two as a junior and two as a young rider) she has never ridden in a senior Nations Cup team. That omission may be rectified at Falsterbo in Sweden and Drammen in Norway in July, though it would mean her missing the Royal Show at Stoneleigh and the Royal International at Hickstead.

ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW: Toyota Grade A Jumping: 1 Everest Winstar (M Edgar) clear, 42.04sec; 2 Pacifica (V Roberts) clear, 45.00; 3 Saigon (W Funnell) clear, 47.02. Toyota Riding Horse Championship: Brown Sabre (A Hood). Reserve: Bennochy Fairtime of Aston (C Gilbert-Scott).

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