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Great Britain Win Super League Nations Cup At Hickstead

A triumphant British team stormed to victory on home ground in Friday's Samsung Super League Nations Cup held at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead. Following a morning of torrential rain, the sun eventually broke through in time for the eight participating teams to parade.

Drawn first to go, Nick Skelton riding John and Lisa Hales' 9 year-old bay stallion, Arko III, set the team in good stead with a superb clear round. First round clears also followed from Richard Davenport and Martin Dawes' Dutch bred gelding Luc and Robert Smith riding his own Irish bred bay gelding, Mr Springfield. Scott Smith with Mike Dawsons' Cabri d'Elle lowered just one pole, leaving Great Britain leading on a zero score after the first round.

In a nailbiting second round which almost ended in a jump-off, Nick and Arko again produced another faultless round with Scott and Richard both lowering a fence each. A mistake from France's Michel Robert at the last fence, and it was clear that Great Britain could not be beaten, therefore Robert and Mr Springfield did not need to jump in the second round.

Full results are as follows:-

1st GBR 8
Nick Skelton Arko III 0 0
Scott Smith Cabri d'Elle 4 4
Richard Davenport Luc 0 4
Robert Smith Mr Springfield 0 DNS

=2nd IRL 12
Kevin Babington Carling King 0 4
Cian O'Connor Waterford Crystal 0 0
Billy Twomey Luidam 4 4
Peter Charles Corrada 3 8 4

=2nd FRA 12
Michel Hecart Quilano de Kalvarie 4 4
Edouard Couperie For de la Hardiere 4 16
Reynald Angot Tlaloc M 0 0
Michel Robert Galet d'Auzay 0 4

Friday's victory gives Great Britain ten Super League points, leaving them currently in third place on the Samsung Super League leaderboard with 26 points, behind leaders France (37 points) and Ireland (36.5 points).

British Chef d'Equipe, Derek Ricketts said:

"This was a tremendous morale booster, our main objective for this year is to qualify for the Olympic Games and then to stay in the Samsung Super League for next season but we always wanted to win this one - its special to us. I only got nervous when I thought we really had a chance - I would have been happy if we had been within the top three so I'm really delighted - this is a good feeling and great for British show jumping".

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