Equestrianism: Ricketts relishes early advantage

"Normally I'd prefer to go later but, with all the rain today, it may be an advantage to go early," he said after yesterday's draw.

William Funnell is a newcomer to Aachen, but he has already discovered that they build tough courses here.

Funnell withdrew after walking the course for the Preis von Nordrhein-Westfalen, won by the experienced German partnership of Otto Becker on Dobel's Cento yesterday, believing that it would undermine the confidence of his immensely promising nine-year-old mount, Cortaflex Tibor.

Nick Skelton and Russell were best of the British, finishing eighth with a single error in the first round.

The British are now lying second to the Germans in the Super League. Ireland and the Netherlands face the threat of relegation.

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