Equestrianism: Maguire steals show with stirring finale

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The Independent Online

Maguire, 25, and Ellen Whitaker, 19, captured the top two places, with the veteran Frenchman Jean-Marc Nicolas third.

Ireland's Billy Twomey and Britain's Geoff Luckett completed weekend doubles. Twomey's victories (which included yesterday's Speed Horse of the Year title) were achieved with a borrowed mare, Intermission, which he had sat on for the first time on Thursday.

The atmosphere of bygone Horse of the Year Shows had been recaptured in a wonderful finale to the Puissance on Saturday night when John Whitaker, a crowd favourite, cleared the wall at 7ft 1in on both his mounts ­ Lactic II and Exploit du Roulard ­ leaving the two horses as equal first.

Not to be outdone by his uncle, William Whitaker filled the top two places in yesterday's Kitt-Kraiburg Junior Show Jumper of the Year with Indien de Here and Colton Maelstrom. Another brother, Michael, was competing for the record prize fund of $1m (£635,000) on offer at the inaugural Las Vegas World Invitational.

Brazil's Olympic champion, Rodrigo Pessoa, took the plum reward of $250,000 when winning the Grand Prix, with Nick Skelton collecting second prize ($178,000) and Michael Whitaker fourth ($75,000).