Dello Joio and King land rare double for America

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A unique United States double brought the Royal International Horse Show to an unexpected close yesterday, with Norman Dello Joio winning the Refco King George V Gold Cup for men and his compatriot Candice King taking the women's equivalent when she won the earlier Hasseroder Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

The last United States victories in these two annual classics were achieved by Frank Chapot in 1974 and by his wife, Mary, in 1968.

It was another depressing day for the British riders, who looked as though they would not have a representative in the King's Cup jump-off until Mark Armstrong, last to go on the mare Elise, achieved the seventh clear round of the contest. Four Britons – Robert Smith, Scott Smith, Damian Charles and Carl Edwards – dropped out with one error.

Dello Joio, who had last competed here in 1980, was last to go in the jump-off and therefore had the advantage of knowing that a slow clear round would be good enough for victory. The experienced 45-year-old, whose list of successes includes the World Cup Final of 1983, used this knowledge with style to claim the top prize. He defeated Heinrich-Wilhelm Johannsmann of Germany on Graishuter and the Dutchman Emile Hendrix on Audi's Finesse, who both had a jump-off error. Armstrong, who had two mistakes, finished in sixth place.

Candice King, who had last been to Hickstead 10 years ago when she was 21, had been hoping to ride her top horse, John EM, in the Queen's Cup until the 15-year-old was found to be lame after jumping in the Nations Cup here on Friday. She therefore switched to Elu de la Hardiere, who proved a splendid substitute by jumping the only double clear round for victory.

Only three horses jumped clear initially, but the special Hickstead rules which give qualification for the jump-off to the top four allowed Britain's Vicky Gosling to go through as well with Malacoff. Gosling said that she "had a blonde moment" when erring at the second obstacle in her first round ("I was concentrating on my stride to the next fence") but that was the only mistake she made.

She finished second, and was one of three attractive blondes to fill the top three places,one place ahead of the leading Dutch woman, Angelique Hoorn, on Hascal. Malacoff, who has twice finished fifth in the Hickstead Derby will return here with Gosling next month for another crack at the marathon contest.

The Lotus Eventing Grand Prix, the feature contest on Saturday in which event riders and show jumpers compete against each other, resulted in another triumph for Pippa Funnell and the marvellous grey mare, The Tourmaline Rose, who have now won three times in four years.

Last to tackle the 28 fences, Funnell produced a brilliantly bold and rhythmic round to defeat show jumping's Michael Whitaker on Evening Masquerade for the second year running. Gary Parsonage and Just So II, the victors in 1999, finished just behind Whitaker in third place.

ROYAL INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW (Hickstead, Sussex): Refco King George V Gold Cup: 1 Glasgow (N Dello Joio, US) clear, 61.29secs; 2 Graishuter (H-W Johannsmann, Ger) 4 faults, 55.53; 3 Audi's Finesse (E Hendrix, Neth) 4 faults, 59.00. Best GB: 6 Elise (M Armstrong) 8 faults, 62.38. Hasseroder Queen Elizabeth II Cup: 1 Elu de la Hardiere (C King, US) clear, 39.66; 2 Malacoff (V Gosling, GB) 4 faults, 40.06; 3 Hascal (A Hoorn, Neth) 8 faults, 40.63. Refco Speed Grand Prix: 1 Garronturton Lady (D Lennon, Irl) 75.99secs; 2 Virtual Village First Samuel (M Whitaker, GB) 77.64; 3 Job (P Wylde, US) 79.54. Lotus Eventing Grand Prix: 1 The Tourmaline Rose (P Funnell, GB) 207.48secs; 2 Evening Masquerade (M Whitaker, GB) 215.51; 3 Just So II (G Parsonage, GB) 216.69.