Equestrianism: Delaveau just shades Stockdale to seize night's big prize

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The Independent Online

Patrice Delaveau collected the richest prize of £7,500 in the closing contest of the Horse of the Year Show, but the Frenchman and Katchina Mail were only a whisker ahead of Britain's Tim Stockdale on the grey mare Fresh Direct Corlato. Ireland's Billy Twomey, well placed throughout the week, filled third place on Tinka's Serenade who is by Nick Skelton's former mount Tinka's Boy.

Skelton himself had been playing for bigger stakes at the Global Champions Tour in Athens where he collected €60,000 by finishing runner-up in Saturday night's Grand Prix. Michael Whitaker was also a big money winner, receiving €23,000 for fourth place on Insultech Mozart des Hayettes.

Mark Armstrong had the satisfaction of defeating last year's winner of the Zinc Management Speed Horse of the Year title when finishing 0.35 seconds faster than Ellen Whitaker, just when the 21-year-old's repeat success on Kanselier seemed assured.

Armstrong, last to go on Rex, had a couple of short cuts up his sleeve however. "I knew there was no way I could beat Ellen unless I took a shorter route," he said, after shaving that split second off her time.

Rex, who has been with Luckett for six years, has now won over £100,000 in speed classes. Not only did the 13-year-old gelding provide Luckett with his first win of this meeting, he also helped to keep him on the road in the summer while his two top Grand Prix mounts, Sefana and Thesaura, were sidelined with minor injuries.

Earlier George Whitaker proved that there are more members of the famous Yorkshire family coming up through the ranks when he finished first and third in the Leading Junior Show Jumper of the Year Championship.

His winning mount, Miami Bound, now 14, had carried his cousin Thomas to victory in 2006.

Yesterday morning 15-year-old George had seen a horse and rider caught in the winner's spotlight here and knew that was the place he wanted to be. He made it after opening the two-pony jump-off with a swift clear round. He could not bring himself to watch his opponent and was spared the sight of Jessie Drea galloping to the last fence with the contest at her mercy until Quantum Light rolled a pole to the floor.