EQUESTRIANISM; Skelton, Whitaker speed to rare tie

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NICK SKELTON and John Whitaker recorded identical times to share first place in yesterday's Hildon Power and Speed contest on the opening day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The heavy rain which fell here made the going "quite slippery" according to Skelton when he rode Virtual Village Showtime to a clear round, finishing the speed section of the course in 29.43 seconds to hold the lead until John Whitaker and Randi landed a rare tie.

Skelton rode Showtime in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, but he now sees Hopes are High (his mount for last year's World Games) as his prospect for future championships. The 10-year-old will be jumping in the Asprey and Garrard Grand Prix on Sunday.

Germany's Heinrich Engemann won the Traxdata Speed Stakes on the eight- year-old mare, Cordula.

Trevor Coyle sustained horrific injuries on Wednesday when kicked by a young horse. He suffered concussion and multiple injuries to his face, including the loss of three front teeth and damage to his upper gum. He also had five stitches in his chin and seven inside his mouth.

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