Equestrianism: Schroder snatches title from Twomey

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The Independent Online

Wim Schroder of the Netherlands deprived an eager audience of the victory they were preparing to celebrate yesterday, when he defeated Ireland's Billy Twomey in the Samsung International Grand Prix on the closing day of the Dublin Super League Show. It was the second year in a row that a Dutch rider took the plum prize, with Marc Houtzager having triumphed here 12 months ago. An Irish rider, Cian O'Connor, did however take the reward for the leading rider of the show.

Robert Smith, the only British rider among the eight to contest the jump-off, was the first to go in the deciding round. He set out with the clear intention of beating his opponents before any of them had entered the arena and he would have succeeded if Mr Springfield had not hit the second to last jump-off fence. Smith was 4.1sec faster than the winner.

Twomey achieved the first clear round on Luidam, before Schroder went ahead on Eurocommerce Montreal. Another clear from Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, who finished third on Mackinley, left Smith in fourth place. William Funnell, on Cortaflex Mondriaan, and Michael Whitaker, on Abrisca, were among those who made single errors at the 13th fence in the opening round.

William Funnell was astonished to win the earlier Speed Championship after his clear round on Cortaflex Machiavelli. "The others just kept knocking fences down," he said happily, after all 10 of the horses that achieved faster times had incurred the four-second penalty for one fence down.

Michael Whitaker had gained the first British victory of this meeting when he won Saturday's ebookers Puissance on Geoff Billington's Descapo.