Equestrianism: Rain comes to Whitaker's rescue

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John Whitaker and Nick Skelton are the last riders in the country in need of a helping hand, but both were given the best of some dramatically changing weather yesterday when they filled the top two places in the Daewoo Grand Prix Championship Final at the Royal Show.

Whitaker, on Virtual Village Barry Bug, and Skelton, on Zalza, took four faults through to the jump-off, in which both were fast and clear. Four others had jumped clear initially and Whitaker was convinced that one or more of them would be faultless again.

But then the rains came, and Carl Edwards had four jumping and 11 time faults on Bit More Candy. John Renwick, on Noble House, and Geoff Glazzard, on Hello Oscar, also exceeded the time while making a single mistake.

Tim Stockdale, last to go on Toggi Interview, said that he could scarcely see the second jump-off fence. He, too, made one error, but he did manage to finish within the time allowed to take third place.