Equestrianism: Short-cut seals clear victory for Skelton and Arko III
Nick Skelton and Arko III produced a wonderfully polished clear round at their second show since the Olympics (and their first on home soil) when they won the Vinopolis Stakes at the Horse of the Year Show here yesterday.
Their round included a neatly executed short cut to the eighth of 11 fences, where Skelton must have saved the 1.15sec by which he defeated Robert Whitaker's fine performance on Nicolette. Third place went to Harry Smolders, the young Dutch rider who went so well at Sheffield in April.
"It's the first time this year that Arko's had no pressure on him, he's having fun here," Skelton said. The 10-year-old stallion's immediate schedule will include four World Cup qualifiers - Syracuse in the United States, Toronto, Belfast and Olympia - but they will also be relatively relaxed compared with the Olympic build-up. Since Skelton's other two mounts have only just returned from Kuala Lumpur, Arko will probably be his only ride here.
Ireland's Billy Twomey won the earlier HOYS.co.uk Cup on 13-year-old Whinnie Jackson, who is still on the upgrade despite his advancing years.
The gelding did not start jumping until he was seven. Twomey had ridden him for his former owner, Malcolm Pyrah, before Sue Davies bought the horse a year ago when he was still in Grade C. This year Whinnie Jackson had a fine spring, during which he won the grand prix in Mauberge. "Then I rode him in the Super League Nations Cups in Rome and Lucerne and that unsettled him a bit, it was too much too soon," Twomey said. "But he's had a break since and he feels brand new again."
Latest in Sport
Michael Schumacher: Sebastian Vettel pays tribute to F1 legend with special helmet for Australian Grand Prix
Daniel Sturridge reveals Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is 'very demanding'
Michael Schumacher 'experience' gives F1 legend chance to 'show his character', says Lewis Hamilton
The 10 funniest football chants revealed, with poll naming West Ham supporters as 'wittiest in the country'
Tottenham 1 Benfica 3 match report: Spurs face uphill battle in Europa League as Tim Sherwood gets into a scrap with rival Jorge Jesus
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Tony Benn meets Ali G: Watch Labour veteran burn Sacha Baron Cohen
- 3 Women do experience two different types of orgasm, study reveals
- 4 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...