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Robert Whitaker races to Friday's biggest win in Mannheim

Friday, 17 July 2015
CSIO5* Mannheim 2015

Robert Whitaker with Catwalk IV. Photo by World of Showjumping.
Robert Whitaker with Catwalk IV. Photo by World of Showjumping.

Great Britain's Robert Whitaker stole the show as last to go in the 1.55 Preis von Europa in Mannheim on Friday, riding Catwalk IV (Colman x Corleone). Whitaker produced one of twelve clears over the first round track in this competition, which was the second for Sunday's Grand Prix.

The jump-off was filled with faults, and in the end only four riders produced double clear rounds. Henk van der Pol, Janne Friederike Meyer, Callan Solem and Piergiorgio Bucci all had to see one rail falling to the ground and when Emanuele Gaudiano entered the ring as fifth to go against the clock there was still no clear. The Italian rider changed that though, as he went all in on Caspar (Casper x Padarco) – stopping the clock on 39.38 taking the lead with the only clean sheet.

Then four more riders followed with rails down; luck was not on Laura Kraut, Lorenzo de Luca, Kevin Staut nor Kevin Babbington's side today. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum went for a steady clear round on a very well jumping Comanche (Coupe de Coeur) to slot into second, but was quickly pushed down as home hero Hansi Dreher produced a determined round to take over the lead on Cool and Easy (Contender x Riverman) – much to the joy of the home crowds.

But, it was not to be for the Germans today – as Robert as last to go totally stole the show. His round was flawless and fast, and when the British rider crossed the finish line the timers showed that he had shaved off 0.20 seconds on Hansi's time to take the victory.

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