The four leading riders at the show this week, John Whitaker, Tim Stockdale, Marie Edgar and Peter Charles, contested an intriguing class in rain that made conditions increasingly testing. Each jumped the same seven obstacles four times, first riding their own horses, then each other's.
With only three minutes practice time on strange horses, all performed with credit, but two, Charles and Edgar, remained faultless to jump off for the title. Edgar looked unbeatable in another dashing round on Everest Unique, but Charles's comparatively inexperienced ex-American racehorse met the challenge brilliantly to beat her by 1.07 sec.
In the earlier Nissan Terrano II Classic, Robert Smith, drawn first to jump off for the second successive day in a major showjumping class, again proved it was no disadvantage to him. Following his valuable win in the Grand Prix on Friday night, riding Cannonball, he produced Tees Hanauer in top form for the horse's first show since Calgary last September, where he had to retire with two torn ligaments.
Their clear round in 41.85 was far too good for seven rivals in the jump-off and only Alison Bradley on Endeavour managed a steady second clear in 47.72. John Whitaker looked a real threat on Everest Costa Classics until turning too tightly and stopping at the last gate, but three faults was good enough for third place.
The Duke of Edinburgh and his team of black Fell ponies went into the Marathon stage of the International Grand Prix driving trials in second place behind the British champion, Philippa Gammeell. But any chance of taking the lead ended when all four occupants were tipped out of the carriage at the water obstacle.
Although they finished the course, with Prince Philip, 72, looking shaken but unhurt, their penalties left them last of the nine teams to complete.Reuse content