Equestrianism: British challenge swept aside by flawless Irish

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The Independent Online

Two Irish riders, Peter Charles and Billy Twomey, gave their British counterparts a polished lesson in fast and accurate jumping when they filled the top two places in yesterday's Castle Stakes at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Charles, who was accepted as a last-minute entry to the event, overtook his compatriot to win on his new mount, Pershing.

It was Pershing's performance at the first Super League show, which ended last Sunday in France, that convinced Charles to bring the mare here. "I wanted to try a few different bits with her and then drop her down a peg, she has a few mental insecurites," he said. It proved to be a good ploy.

Twomey was 0.79 seconds behind Charles when finishing second on the mare Anastasia. Lynne van Heynigen, the last of 15 into the jump-off, was the only other rider to clear all the fences. Her one time fault with Cobretti proved irrelevant, since she was still third and best of the British.

The Irish will be defending their team title in the European Show Jumping Championships at Donaueschingen in Germany from 20 to 24 August, but Charles may not be in contention. He will be back on Corrada in the Hickstead Derby, looking for a third consecutive victory on the 13-year-old mare, the week before and Pershing, though obviously talented, may not be ready in time.