Equestrianism: Swiss have the edge in close contest

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SWITZERLAND won an enthralling battle for the German Nations Cup yesterday, with the Netherlands and Britain putting up a tenacious fight before settling for second and third places when the contest reached its climax in the last three rounds of the contest, writes Genevieve Murphy from Aachen.

The Swiss had two double clear rounds, from Willi Melliger on Quinta C and Stefan Lauber on Lugano II. The Dutch had one faultless partnership: Emile Hendrix on Anadolu Arabian.

Britain, the first to jump in this contest between 10 nations, had started well with a clear round from Michael Whitaker on Everest Midnight Madness.

Mark Armstrong, the next to go for Britain, showed a cool head on this biggest test of his career. His only mistake on the nine-year-old mare, Corella, came at the 10th fence and he also collected half a time fault. David Broome had three errors on Lannegan for the discard score, before John Whitaker went clear on Gammon to leave Britain third.

Fortunes changed when they reappeared. Michael Whitaker had two errors; both Armstrong and Broome jumped splendid clear rounds; John Whitaker had one mistake when Gammon dislodged a white plank on the eighth of 12 fences.

GERMAN NATIONS CUP (Aachen): 1 Switzerland 4.25 faults; 2 Netherlands 8.25; 3 Britain 8.75; 4 Belgium 16.75; 5 Germany 24.25; 6 Spain 24.75.