Equestrianism: Weinberg sets standard to dazzle on homecoming

Helena Weinberg took the plum prize of £18,500 when she won yesterday's Sony Ericsson World Cup Qualifier on nine-year-old Kasting Horses Gavi.

In the process, Weinberg, who rode for Britain until switching to her husband's German nationality in 1987, defeated some of the leading men in the sport: Markus Ehning, also representing Germany and the winner of this year's World Cup final, Ludo Philippaerts from Belgium, and Michael Whitaker, who was the best of the British.

Whitaker, the only Briton through to the 13-horse jump-off, had the capacity crowd roaring their approval when he completed a swift clear round on the nine-year-old mare, Portofino. "I was quite early to go and I thought I'd probably be beaten, but I didn't think I'd be pushed down to fourth," Whitaker said. He was nevertheless delighted with the mare, who joined his string in July and looks set to become his top mount next year.

Though the spectators were rooting for the home rider, they could not fail to appreciate some wonderful rounds that followed in one of the best contests held here. Philippaerts, riding the grey stallion, Parco, had overtaken Whitaker before Weinberg set the place alight with some audacious turns.

"My horse is naturally quite fast and he's very cool in difficult situations, I knew he wouldn't panic," Weinberg said of the bay stallion. "He's probably the best horse I've ever had."

Weinberg had an anxious time, however, as she watched Ehning and the magnificent 17-year-old For Pleasure attempt to catch her time, only to fail by 0.28sec.

"For Pleasure can beat everyone, his problem today was me. I was too slow over the first two fences," Ehning said after finishing second. He plans next year to carry on riding the chestnut stallion because For Pleasure looks and feels much younger than his years.

Weinberg - whose brother, Bruce Dickinson, is lead singer with the rock group Iron Maiden - became the first woman to win this class since Veronique Whitaker triumphed in 1991. She has won the Grand Prix here before, but this was her first success in the World Cup class. The absent Marco Kutscher retains the lead for Germany on the Western European League of the World Cup, with Weinberg and Whitaker moving up into second and third places.

There was disappointment when two of Britain's leading contenders for yesterday's big class - Robert Smith on Marius Claudius and Nick Skelton on Arko III - dropped out with single errors in the opening round to be equal 14th. Four other Britons shared the same place: Paul Barker on Temple Croesus and Guy Williams on Loro Piana, who were competing in their first World Cup class, and Robert Whitaker on Qualite and William Funnell on Cortaflex Mondriaan.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever