Equestrianism: Limited Edition first: Skelton's Royal Show

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The Independent Online
NICK SKELTON jumped a near- perfect round to win yesterday's Pentech 2000 competition on the second day of the Royal Show here. His mount was Sue Welch's Everest Limited Edition, who was right out of form in Aachen last week but had six wins in a row before that: one in Bethune, four in St Gallen and another in Arnhem.

'He was like this in St Gallen,' Skelton said of the horse. 'I don't know what went wrong in Aachen, he seems to hate the place.' Back to his best, Limited Edition was beautifully fluent, covering the ground in long, rhythmic strides which looked unhurried but which produced the fastest round of the eight-horse jump-off.

Warren Clarke, who is staying with Skelton, made a spirited attempt to beat his host's time but failed by 1.08sec to finish as runner-up on Benjumin. Clarke had shown good form with the senior team in Rome this year, before being chosen for the British squad and Hickstead.

An attack of colic left Benjumin out of the Hickstead Grand Prix. Clarke is hoping that there will be no such frustration on Sunday, when he plans to the ride the grey in the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead's Royal International Horse Show. His opponents will again include Skelton, who is taking Limited Edition to Sussex just to compete in that class.

Emma-Jane Brown, who rides for Bond International, was in the prize- money yesterday when fourth on Hasty Exit - one place behind Mark McCourt on Lapaz.

ROYAL SHOW (Stoneleigh, Warwickshire): Pentech 2000 Competition: 1 Everest Limited Edition (N Skelton) clear, 39.04sec; 2 Benjumin (W Clarke) clear, 40.12; 3 Lapaz (M McCourt) clear, 40.41. Hunter Breeding Championship: Mrs Hindle and Miss A Ridiough's Bright and Fair. Reserve: Mrs E Scott's State Secret.