Equestrianism: Lampard's target

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The Independent Online
Michael Whitaker will be competing in Luxembourg when the Royal International Horse Show begins this morning at Hickstead. He plans to make only a brief appearance at the Sussex showground when he rides Everest Midnight Madness in Saturday's King George V Gold Cup, which he won last year.

The remainder of the British contingent in Luxembourg (John Whitaker, Nick Skelton, Peter Murphy, Joe Turi and James Fisher) will miss the Royal International completely.

Comparing the prize-money on offer at the two shows, which have identical dates, made it inevitable that some top British riders would choose the overseas venue. Hickstead's richest award is the pounds 5,000 which goes to the winner of the King's Cup. Sunday's Grand Prix in Luxembourg carries a first prize of pounds 18,500, plus a minimum of pounds 16,000 from the new Pulsar Crown series in which three victories would earn an incredible pounds 962,000.

The Hickstead contests will nevertheless take some winning. Geoff Billington and William Funnell, who were both on Britain's winning Nations Cup team, are competing there. So, too, is Di Lampard whose mount, eight-year-old Abbervail Dream, is one of the best young horses in the world and Lampard will be aiming to repeat last year's victory with this horse in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup for women riders.