Skelton heads British entry

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The Independent Online

Nick Skelton returns this weekend to the indoor show which proved a lucky omen for him on the way to his Volvo World Cup triumph last season.

Skelton is among a strong British contingent competing at the Millstreet Indoor International in County Cork - the fifth of 14 European League qualifiers for next April's World Cup final in Geneva.

The 37-year-old Warwickshire rider, who spends most of the year at overseas shows, won last year's Millstreet qualifier on Everest Dollar Girl.

It was his only victory in the European series and he only just secured a place among the eventual finalists. But having got to Gothenburg he went on to win the three-leg final for the biggest success of his career.

Skelton, whose international successes this year have included victory in the San Marino Grand Prix with Showtime in September, lines up with his regular British team-mates, John and Michael Whitaker, in the four- day show starting today.

John Whitaker, Britain's only other World Cup winner, has family backing from his children Louise and Robert, who are due to compete in the pony classes.