Firestone finds easier route to golden pay-out

Alison Firestone was rewarded with the winner-takes-all prize of £13,500 yesterday when she rode Arnica de la Barre to five clear rounds in the Kickon Masters at the Olympia Show Jumping Championships.

Alison Firestone was rewarded with the winner-takes-all prize of £13,500 yesterday when she rode Arnica de la Barre to five clear rounds in the Kickon Masters at the Olympia Show Jumping Championships.

This is the first time that the 23-year-old American has competed in this meeting. It was also her first win during a successful European tour, which began in Stuttgart in November, and included a second place in the Amsterdam Grand Prix. "It's been great experience riding against the best in the world, it really raises your standard," she said.

Di Lampard, who had the fastest time in the fifth and final round, which was decided against the clock, saw her chance of collecting the big prize diminish when Abbervail Dream hit the second part of the double, which was the last of the five fences.

She would still have won, however, if Firestone's eight-year-old mare had made a single error. "I was very lucky with the order of go," Firestone said, having been last to jump in the final round, which meant that she could concentrate on accuracy rather than speed. Next year Firestone will be aiming for April's World Cup final in Las Vegas, before trying to secure a place in the US Olympic team.

On Saturday, John Whitaker had once again displayed his formidable talent for getting fine performances out of veteran horses when he won the World Cup qualifier on 19-year-old Virtual Village Welham. Twelve months earlier he had won the same contest on Grannusch, then also 19, with a whirlwind round against the clock, which included one alarmingly tight turn.

Welham, the first of nine into the jump-off, was equally nippy. "The course suited him, he excels at turning back into fences," Whitaker said. Having taken the shortest possible route over the twisty first four fences, Whitaker maintained a smart pace without taking any undue risks. He then had to sit and wait while others did their utmost to catch him.

"It was quite nerve-racking watching the others, but there's nothing you can do about it," Whitaker said. Two riders came uncomfortably close - Carry Huis In'T, from the Netherlands, on Iceberg, and Switzerland's Beat Mandli, on Pozitano, finishing in an identical time just 0.23sec behind Whitaker to share second place. Geoff Billington finished fifth on Virtual Village It's Otto, after one refusal when taking a short turn into the third of the jump-off fences.

The venerable Welham has jumped in no more than "eight or nine" shows this year and, according to his rider, "the system seems to suit him".

Ludger Beerbaum, the former Olympic and European champion, described Whitaker's latest victory with an aged partner as "amazing". The distinguished German rider had failed to make the World Cup jump-off when his eight-year-old, Gold Fever, whom he now regards as his No 1 horse, made a single error in the opening round.

Yesterday Beerbaum rode his older partner, the 18-year-old PS Priamos, to win the Kickon Mistletoe Stakes and so thwart the high hopes of Britain's long-time leader, Tim Stockdale on Traxdata Glenwood Springs.

Like Firestone, Beerbaum acknowledged that he had the luck of the draw in going last. "I saw Tim jump and I knew where I could make up time," Beerbaum said. "He went round the white gate to the double at fence six, so I went inside." This ploy gave him victory by a 2.57sec margin on Priamos, who has won nearly £400,000 during the three and a half years he has been with Beerbaum and is due to retire soon.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable