Equestrianism: Whitaker in the mood for Dublin

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The Independent Online
John Whitaker had a happy prelude to the Kerrygold Dublin Horse Show, which begins today, when he rode Everest Welham and Gammon to finish first and third in Sunday's Irish Jumping Derby at Millstreet.

Whitaker has two different mounts (Grannusch and Randi) in Dublin, where seven British riders are competing. They include Geoff Billington, who will only need to retain his form to be in the squad of five who will be named (possibly next Monday) for the European Championships at St Gallen in Switzerland next month.

The two Whitaker brothers and Nick Skelton are bound to be in the squad. Alison Bradley will surely be named as well after her sparkling performances last month in La Baule, where she rode Endeavour to win the Grand Prix and to complete the only double clear round in the whole of the Nations Cup.

Britain will compete against teams from France, Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Ireland in Friday's Nations Cup in Dublin - and the home side could spread some happiness around the capital by defeating the visitors.

GREAT BRITAIN SQUADS (Dublin Horse Show, 8-12 August): G Billington, D Bowen, D Lampard, N Skelton, R Smith, J and M Whitaker. (Junior European Championships, Dallgow, Berlin, 10-13 August): S Dinning, R Dunning, S Oliver, B Paul, L Whitaker. (Nations Cup meeting, Rotterdam, 17-20 August): A Bradley, J Fisher, D Lampard, N Skelton, M Whitaker.

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