Equestrianism: Smith looking to lead in London

By Genevieve Murphy
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The Independent Online

Robert Smith, who was the leading rider at both Belfast and Geneva this month, is hoping to continue in the same vein when the show jumping contests of the London International Horse Show begin today. The British rider will face tough opposition from Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa and Germany's Marcus Ehning, who are third and fourth on the World Rankings.

Robert Smith, who was the leading rider at both Belfast and Geneva this month, is hoping to continue in the same vein when the show jumping contests of the London International Horse Show begin today. The British rider will face tough opposition from Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa and Germany's Marcus Ehning, who are third and fourth on the World Rankings.

Pessoa, who won the World Cup Qualifier in Geneva at the weekend, will be anxious to collect some more points in the Olympia equivalent on Sunday. Riders will also have Monday's final of the the Ride and Drive competition (which has a car as the first prize) and the closing Grand Prix in their sights.

Olympia also stages a Dressage World Cup qualifier in which Spain's Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Beauvalais, the individual Olympic bronze medallists, proved their continuing good form by winning Tuesday night's Grand Prix. Close behind was the British rider Carl Hester, who is proving the potential brilliance of Escapado with whom he was 13th and the leading Briton in Athens.

OLYMPIA, THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW: The Berkeley Group and Horse and Hound Dressage Grand Prix: 1 Beauvalais (B Ferrer-Salat, Sp) 72.875; 2 Escapado (C Hester, GB) 71.667; 3 Wahajama Unicef (A-K Lisenhoff, Ger) 71.583.

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