Equestrianism: Fast-moving Coupe enjoys encouraging run: Youth has its head as clock-watching pays dividends in a time and motion study for Suntory and Endeavour

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The Independent Online
NIGEL COUPE, 22, had the distinction of becoming the only rider to defeat a rapid time set by Ireland's Peter Charles in yesterday's I P E Power and Speed at The Horse of the Year Show here. It was a fine achievement considering that both Michael Whitaker, third on Everest Monsanta, and Nick Skelton, sixth on Major Wager, had tried and failed.

Coupe did not let that go to his head. 'You can beat those riders once in a while, but most of the time they're ahead of you,' he said. The Lancastrian's victory with Suntory was nevertheless another encouraging sign for the future of the sport, which had been given an earlier boost by Alison Bradley's second win of the meeting.

Bradley, 23, won the new British Ladies Championship with a splendidly bold corner-cutting round against the clock on Endeavour. Admittedly the opposition was not formidable; Bradley was nevertheless set a tough challenge by Marie Edgar, who zipped round on Everest Winstar and must have thought she had done enough to pocket the pounds 2,000 first prize.

'I didn't watch all of Marie's round,' Bradley said, 'but I saw her go inside the gate to the second-last fence and knew I'd have to take that route as well.' She proceeded to shave corners more closely than Edgar for a splitsecond victory on the seven-year-old Endeavour, who was also her winning partner on Thursday.

Lucy Henderson, one of three 16-year-old triplets competing here, showed equal determination when riding Ballymoss to win the Leading Junior Jumper of the Year title. She defeated Maltstreet Mystic, the mount of Paul Barker, whose father rode in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

All three of the Henderson sisters, from Huyton, play lacrosse for their school, Liverpool College, and they all intend to compete on horses next year.

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