Equestrianism: Skelton keeps GB in touch

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The Independent Online

Today's two-round competition will decide the team results, and there are only 1.76 faults separating Germany, France and the Netherlands. Germany's Marcus Ehning holds the advantage for the individual title, which will be decided on Sunday.

Ellen Whitaker, at 19 the youngest rider here, had her plans cruelly thwarted when Locarno had a bout of colic on Thursday night and had to be withdrawn. Her place was filled by her uncle John Whitaker, who was going well until Exploit du Roulard had the last two fences down. Both Michael Whitaker on Portofino and William Funnell on Cortaflex Mondriaan incurred a four-second penalty for one error to finish in 18th and 22nd places.

EUROPEAN SHOW JUMPING CHAMPIONSHIPS (San Patrignano, near Rimini, Italy): Results of first leg: 1 Gitania (M Ehning, Ger) 78.6secs; 2 Cavalor Cumano (J Lansink, Bel) 81.30; 3 Eurocommerce Monaco (G Schroder, Neth) 82.23; 4 Arko III (N Skelton, GB) 82.76; 5 Kannan (M Hecart, Fr) 82.97; 6 Coster (C Ahlmann, Ger) 83.03. Other GB: 18 Portofino (M Whitaker) 88.19; 22 Cortaflex Mondriaan (W Funnell) 88.95; 40 Exploit du Roulard (J Whitaker) 97.19. Team standings: 1 Germany 6 faults; 2 France 7.48; 3 Netherlands 7.76; 4 Great Britain 12.03; 5 Sweden 13.75; 6 Belgium 14.04.