Fuchs survives anxious wait

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The Independent Online

Markus Fuchs had the last word at the Kerrygold Dublin Horse Show when he rode Tinka's Boy, the winner of this year's World Cup Final, to victory in yesterday's closing Grand Prix. Having gone ahead of Belgium's Jos Lansink, who incurred two time faults for his steady clear round on AK Caridor, the Swiss rider had an anxious time while he watched the United States rider, Schuyler Riley on her 11-year-old Ilian, gallop into the final double. It was there that she made her only mistake to finish in third place.

The going was holding after heavy rain – "You get sucked down into it," Schuyler said. Fuchs, who has been in the sport for more than 35 years, maintained that he would not return here with Tinka's Boy unless the footing is improved. "We have the same problem at our show at St Gallen in Switzerland," Fuchs said. "If it rains there, we often have bad ground."

Tinka's Boy, bought from Nick Skelton four years ago, is the best horse Fuchs has ridden – though it took almost a year for the combination to gel. Yesterday he described the stallion as "a fantastic mover, easy to ride and not afraid of anything."

Five horses went clear initially – among them Parcival, the mount of Britain's Tim Stockdale. He retired after collecting 12 faults in the jump-off to finish in fifth place. The Irish, who had a disappointing show after the high expectations which followed their European Championship victory, failed to get any of their riders into the deciding round.

Michael Whitaker gained his third victory of the show – and took an unassailable lead for the title of leading international rider – when he rode Virtual Village Prince of Wales to win the earlier Kerrygold Speed Championship. The horse had been tackling the bigger courses until winning a speed contest here last Thursday, in the process showing that he is considerably more careful when asked to quicken his pace.

Saturday's Puissance resulted in a dual British victory, with Tim Stockdale on Wiston Bridget and Damian Charles on Romulus Sixteen sharing first place after they were the only two to clear the red wall at 7ft 1in.

KERRYGOLD DUBLIN HORSE SHOW: Grand Prix: 1 Tinka's Boy (M Fuchs, Swit) clear, 51.69 faults; 2 AK Caridor (J Lansink, Bel) 2 faults, 55.96; 3 Ilian (S Riley, US) 4 faults, 50.30. Best GB: 5 Parcival (T Stockdale) retired in jump-off; 8 Cabri d'Elle (S Smith) 4 faults in 1st round. Kerrygold Speed Championship: 1 Virtual Village Prince of Wales (M Whitaker, GB) 56.71sec; 2 Warsaw (N Dello Joio, US) 58.88; 3 Pompidou (M Renzel, Ger) 59.78. Puissance: 1= Wiston Bridget (T Stockdale, GB) and Romulus Sixteen (D Charles, GB) 4 clear rounds; 3 Cor d'Alme (E Doyle, Irl) retired in 4th round. Leading International Rider of the Show: M Whitaker (GB).

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