Whitaker takes fifth in Rio

  • Last Updated: October 7 2012, 10:54 BST

Michael Whitaker led the British challenge with a fifth-placed finish at the lucrative Athina Onassis Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro.

Michael Whitaker: Fifth place

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The competition is one of world showjumping's richest events, offering a £266,000 top prize that went to reigning Olympic champion Steve Guerdat of Switzerland.

But Nottinghamshire-based Whitaker, who missed out on London 2012 selection for Great Britain, guided GIG Amai into fifth spot, landing him £48,000.

Whitaker has been among the most consistent performers in world showjumping over the past 18 months, and it was a surprise to many that he failed to secure Olympic selection.

The Rio event attracted 43 of the world's top riders, and it was Guerdat who prevailed on his London 2012 champion Nino des Buissonets.

The Greenwich gold medallist delivered a dominant display, winning a four-horse jump-off by almost two seconds from Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander and Itot du Chateau.

Guerdat's Swiss colleague Clarissa Crotta was third aboard West Side, with Frenchman Olivier Guillon fourth.

Nick Skelton, a member of Britain's Olympic gold medal-winning team, was 12th with Big Star, but Ben Maher and Tripple X III retired in round one.


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