Equestrian: Britain defeated by Germany

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Charloitte Platt, who is Britain’s newest recruit to the top senior team, jumped the only double clear round of yesterday’s FEI Samsung Super League Nations Cup at the Royal International Horse Show. Despite her valiant effort on the eleven-year-old bay mare Paulien, Britain was defeated by Germany, eventually sharing second place with Sweden.

Platt, who made positive contributions to team silver and gold medals at the last two Young Rider European Championships, was competing in her first Super League contest at the age of 22 and she clearly relished the experience. “I live nearby and I thought it would be fun to ride in front of my home crowd,” Platt said, having thrilled her many supporters.

Britain had made a shaky start with Geoff Luckett, first to go in the entire competition, lowered two early fences on Monline. Far from realising the big crowd’s worst fears, however, the horse seemed to get the measure of the course and made no further errors.

Platt gave the mood a more positive upbeat tone with a lovely clear round on Paulien II. Duncan Inglis then gave Britain another eight fault round on Sunkist before Michael Whitaker provided some more home cheer when he also went clear on the grey Wonami.

In round two, Britain started with a depressing 16 faults from Luckett, which put Platt under pressure but found her well able to cope. “She jumps her best when the pressures on,” said Corinne Bracken, her trainer in her young rider days, after she had jumped clear the second time. After another disheartening performance when Inglis retired Sunkist, Whitaker might have forced a jump-off with Germany if he had repeated his earlier clear round. This time, however, he had a single error on Wonami leaving the Germans to win their third Super League contest in a row.

Royal International Horse Show (Hickstead, Sussex):: FEI Samsung Super League Nations Cup: 1 Germany 24 faults; 2= Great Britain and Sweden 28; 4 Switzerland32; 5 Ireland 33; 6 Belgium 35; 7 Netherlands 41; 8 USA 61. GB scores: Monline (G Luckett) 8,16; Paulien II (C Platt) 0,0; \Sunkist (D Inglis) 8,retired; Wonami (M Whitaker) 0,4sport@.