Equestrianism: Smith praise for Kalusha 'character' in qualifier win

Robert Smith's fiercely competitive spirit, which has survived a "difficult" year, brought him a significant triumph yesterday when he rode Kalusha to win the World Cup Qualifier at The London International Horse Show here. He collected the £20,000 first prize, which was the plum reward of the meeting, as well as delighting the capacity crowd of 7,000 spectators who had booked their seats early to make sure of a place in the stands.

The British rider was fourth of eight into the timed jump-off and, knowing that some top horses were still to come, he made sure that his remaining opponents would have a tough target to chase. Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst of Germany came closest, finishing just 0.64sec behind Smith and a mere 0.01sec ahead of Marcus Ehning, also from Germany, on Sandro Boy.

Markus Beerbaum, last to go on Leena, was the only one to better Smith's time and the Briton was watching him "very closely" until the mare clobbered the second-last fence.

Smith's difficulties have revolved around the absence of his top two horses, Mr Springfield and Marius Claudius, who were both sidelined through injury for most of the year, leaving the less consistent Kalusha as his mount for all the major classes. A week earlier the 13-year-old had been on his way to winning the World Cup Qualifier in Geneva until he refused two fences from home in the jump-off. Yesterday's success (which was a repeat of Smith's 1996 and 2002 victories here) was made all the sweeter after that disappointment.

"He's a fun horse and a great character - he never sulks," Smith said of Kalusha, who prefers indoor surfaces to the grass surfaces so often encountered in outdoor arenas. The contest was also notable for the excellent rounds jumped by two young British riders, 22-year-old Ben Maher whose double clear on Niko IV left him fifth, and 19-year-old Tim Gredley, whose only mistake in the first round on Omelli occurred when he overran the time to incur one fault. Robert Smith was able to share in their success since he helps to train both of them together with his younger brother, Steven.

John Whitaker's success in Saturday's Christmas Masters contributed to a splendid weekend for British show jumping. He won this winner-takes-all prize of £9,500 by jumping three clear rounds on his joint Puissance winner, Exploit du Roulard.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee