Equestrianism: Smith shows sharpness on Kalusha

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The Independent Online

Robert Smith, who suffered a memory lapse when missing out a fence here on Thursday, was razor sharp when riding Kalusha to win the Martin Collins Grade A Jumping on the second day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The 13-year-old grey gelding had been in top form at two indoor shows earlier this year, winning the World Cup qualifier in Gothenburg and the British Open title at Sheffield.

Robert Smith, who suffered a memory lapse when missing out a fence here on Thursday, was razor sharp when riding Kalusha to win the Martin Collins Grade A Jumping on the second day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The 13-year-old grey gelding had been in top form at two indoor shows earlier this year, winning the World Cup qualifier in Gothenburg and the British Open title at Sheffield.

Windsor is the first outdoor show of the year for Kalusha, who has obligingly stepped into a top place in Smith's string while his Olympic mount, Mr Springfield, is recovering from a torn ligament around his fetlock joint. Yesterday he defeated a smart time set by Nick Skelton on Pandur, with Tim Sockdale third on Fresh Direct Corlatto.

Though riders are not happy at having to park their horseboxes a long way from the arena, there was enthusiasm for the all-weather surface at the new site in the private grounds of Windsor Castle.

"It's a brilliant surface. I'd like to see the Nations Cup back here," Smith said. This contest has been staged once at Windsor - in 1997 when heavy rain reduced the grass arena to mud. Thanks to the new permanent surface, good going can now be guaranteed.

The Duke of Edinburgh, still competing in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix at the age of 83, was lying third after the driven dressage phase. Britain's Anna Grayston holds the lead in this section as they prepare to tackle the complicated hazards in today's marathon.

Royal Windsor Horse Show (Berks): Martin Collins Grade A Jumping: 1 Kalusha (R Smith) clear, 39.69sec; 2 Pandur (N Skelton) clear, 41.49; 3 Fresh Direct Corlatto (T Stockdale) clear, 45.15. B&C Handicap Championship: 1 Susie Q (M Whitaker) clear, 32.65sec; 2 Laetita (T Priest) clear, 33.03; 3 Reseaurch (R Whitaker) clear, 33.59. Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix: Pony Teams: 1 A Grayston (GB) 51.04 penalties; 2 A Stroud (US) 59.84; 3 Duke of Edinburgh (GB) 61.12.

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