Equestrianism: Smith's early pace leaves rivals behind

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ROBERT SMITH thought he would 'set a good pace' when first into the jump-off for yesterday evening's De Lage Landen Grand Prix at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, writes Genevieve Murphy. He did just that, leaving his seven rivals to chase his time in vain.

Smith won on Cannonball, formerly ridden for the United States by Anne Kursinski. He has had the horse for a year, but has suffered the frustration of seeing the 10-year-old on the sidelines through lameness for seven of the 12 months. Yesterday's comfortable victory over Malcolm Pyrah on Itziweeni was Cannonball's best win so far with Harvey Smith's elder son. Philip Smith, from South Africa, finished third on Donnybrook.

Marie Edgar had earlier taken the national women's title for the third time with her favourite horse, Everest Surething. She did so by winning the Lucas Ladies' Championship, in which she was last to go in the six-horse jump-off.

Di Lampard, the runner-up, was one of the riders Edgar saw as a serious threat. Nevertheless, she beat Lampard's time by 1.41sec, mainly by taking a shorter turn into the second fence.

'Surething will always be my favourite, he's done so much for me,' Edgar said of her 13-year-old grey partner.