Equestrianism: Skelton is denied the grand finale by a fraction

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The Independent Online

Marcus Ehning deprived Nick Skelton of a momentous double on the closing day of the London International Horse Show when, last to go in a 14-horse jump-off for the Olympia Grand Prix, the talented 30-year-old German rode Sandro Boy to defeat the British rider on Arko III by just 0.4sec.

Marcus Ehning deprived Nick Skelton of a momentous double on the closing day of the London International Horse Show when, last to go in a 14-horse jump-off for the Olympia Grand Prix, the talented 30-year-old German rode Sandro Boy to defeat the British rider on Arko III by just 0.4sec.

Earlier, Skelton had underlined the enormous scope of John and Lisa Hales's Russel when he rode the nine-year-old to win the Christmas Eve Six Bar. The grey stallion was the only one to clear the straight line of four fences in the fourth round, for which the final obstacle stood at 6ft 4in.

Ellen Whitaker had the distinction of beating her two uncles, John and Michael Whitaker, when gaining her first Olympia victory in the Farewell Speed Stakes. The stylish 18-year-old was second to go on AK Quinten and, having whizzed round in 50.10sec, she had a long wait before her prize was secure.

John, who had defeated his niece when they filled the top two places in this year's British Jumping Derby at Hickstead, set out with every intention of doing so again. "He had me on the edge of my seat," Ellen said, after her uncle was 0.74sec slower to be runner-up.

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