Equestrianism: Whitakers' windfall

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A CYCLONIC wind and torrential rain did their best to disrupt yesterday's Everest Grand Prix at the Royal Show. Geoff Glazzard was jumping the stallion It's The Business at the time and, having seen 'flowers flying everywhere' as he approached the eighth fence, he decided to pull up, writes Genevieve Murphy.

As Glazzard rode out, the main arena resembled a scene of devastation, with 10 of the 11 fences blown to the ground. The swirling winds quickly subsided, the course was rebuilt and the Whitaker brothers proceeded to take the bulk of their own sponsors' prize- money as they so often do.

Michael Whitaker won on Everest Midnight Madness, defeating his elder brother, John, on Tuesday's winner, Grannusch. Glazzard, who returned to complete his first round without fault, finished in fifth place with another clear round in the jump-off.

John Whitaker will be back in action today at Hickstead, where the Royal International Horse Show begins this morning. His daughter, Louise, and son, Robert, will also be competing there today with their ponies.

Mark Todd, New Zealand's double Olympic champion in three-day eventing, will be among 13 riders representing six overseas countries. Having finished second in the Falsterbo three-day event in Sweden yesterday, he will be riding Trevor Banks' show jumper Bond Xtra at Hickstead.

ROYAL SHOW (Stoneleigh, Warwicks): Everest Grand Prix: 1 Everest Midnight Madness (M Whitaker) clear, 34.33sec; 2 Everest Grannusch (J Whitaker) clear, 35.06; 3 Orthos (P Murphy) clear, 35.50.

THREE-DAY EVENT (Falsterbo, Swe) Final standings: 1 Dan Dalooney (J P Sheffield, GB) 47.2 penalties; 2 Buddy Good (M Todd, NZ) 47.4; 3 Cyklon (U Johansson, Swe) 55.9.