Equestrianism: Bright star Sam seals victory for Dutch Zoer

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The Independent Online

Albert Zoer of the Netherlands recorded his second major victory in two weeks with nine-year-old Sam when he collected the £100,000 that went to the winner of the Rolex Grand Prix, yesterday's closing contest of the Aachen Super League show in Germany.

The Dutchman had the added distinction of defeating the crack German rider, Ludger Beerbaum, on his home ground. Zoer will be riding the more experienced Oki Doki at the Olympics but Sam is shaping up as a bright star of the future.

Aachen's notorious double of water ditches proved the undoing of the three British riders. Michael Whitaker retired there after Wonami had stopped at the second element; John Whitaker had the first of his three errors with Peppermill at the first element while Tim Stockdale's mount, Fresh Direct Corlato, had the second part down.

According to Stockdale, Corlato had not seen anything resembling these obstacles before, with the result that she backed off when she should have been pressing forward. The mare finished best of the British in 23rd place.

The German event rider, Bettina Hoy, has been given a reprieve despite missing Saturday's cross-country phase of the DHL Prize, which doubled as a final Olympic trial. In the lead after the dressage on Ringwood Cockatoo, she then had a disastrous round in the showjumping after which the grey was found to be lame.

When they met on Saturday evening the selectors decided to leave Hoy in the Olympic team on the condition that she take part in a small event in Germany. They need to be convinced that the horse has fully recovered.

Germany won the eventing team contest here with three of their other Olympic hopefuls – among them Frank Ostholt.

Britain happily took third place in the absence of their Olympic candidates who were having a home run at Barbury Castle.

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