Leroy Brown steals show in jump-off

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The Independent Online


Wout-Jan van der Schans of the Netherlands became the unexpected recipient of pounds 16,000 last night, when he won the P&O European Ferries Grand Prix during the closing session of the Olympia Show Jumping Championships.

The 34-year-old Dutchman, who is 76th on the world rankings, was first to go in the nine-horse jump-off on the careful but deliberate Leroy Brown. Well aware that the time for his clear round could be beaten, he was obviously happy to see faster horses and riders with snappier names make errors while achieving swifter times.

Robert Smith was runner-up with a slower clear on Tees Hanauer - leaving John Whitaker on Everest Welham and Nick Skelton on Showtime (who were fastest of all) in third and fourth places with a single error each.

Hugo Simon's return to the Championships, in which he last competed 10 years ago, became even more euphoric when the 53-year-old Austrian gained his third victory of the meeting.

Simon's win on Gondonso in the Snowman Six Bar was particularly satisfying in that he had never the ridden the horse in a competition until he brought him to this meeting.