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London 2012 Equestrian: Jumping for joy! British equestrian team takes gold in Greenwich after tense jump-off against the Dutch

By // News | London 2012 Equestrian: Jumping for joy! British equestrian team takes gold in Greenwich after tense jump-off against the Dutch
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  • First showjumping gold for Great Britain in sixty years won in jump-off against the Netherlands
  • Peter Charles holds his nerve to ride clear after Nick Skelton, Ben Maher and Scott Brash record just one penalty between them
  • Gold is Britain's 17th of the Olympics

By Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED: 11:03 EST, 6 August 2012 | UPDATED: 11:15 EST, 6 August 2012

Peter Charles jumped a flawless final round to deliver Great Britain's 17th gold medal in a tense team showjumping final this afternoon.

Britain's riders held their nerve in a jump-off against the Netherlands, with Nick Skelton and Ben Maher jumping clear rounds and Scott Brash recording just one penalty.

Earlier, Charles had knocked the top bar off the penultimate fence - a white gate - at the end of his round and the Dutch rider Gerco Schroder then forced the jump-off with a clear round.

Peter Charles celebrates after his clear round handed Great Britain gold

Peter Charles celebrates after his clear round handed Great Britain gold


Charles, on his horse 'Vindicat W' made no mistake despite the pressure of a jump-off with Holland

Charles, on his horse 'Vindicat W' made no mistake despite the pressure of a jump-off with Holland

In the nerve-racking jump-off, the Dutch rider Maikel Van Der Vleuten buckled under the pressure, recording two penalties, while his teammate Marc Houtzager also knocked down one fence.

But after Skelton, Maher and Brash had pushed Britain close to victory, Charles made no mistake on his horse 'Vindicat W' to claim Britain's first showjumping gold since 1952.

The home crowd, most waving Union flags, went wild as he cleared the final fence - a replica of Tower Bridge - to secure victory.

The Dutch silver medal winners were Jur Vrieling, Van Der Vleuten, Houtzager and Schroder.

Saudi Arabia, anchored by Prince Abdullah al Saud, took the bronze medal with a score of 13 faults, finishing ahead of stalwarts Switzerland and Sweden and defending Olympic team champions the United States.

Peter Charles approaches the final jump in the play-off, a replica of Tower Bridge...

Peter Charles approaches the final jump in the play-off, a replica of Tower Bridge...

...and he clears it to win gold number 17 for Britain and our first showjumping gold since 1952

...and he clears it to win gold number 17 for Britain and our first showjumping gold since 1952

In the Melbourne Olympics in 1952, the trio of Harry Llewellyn, Duggie Stewart and Wilf White won gold in this event for Britain and a sixty year wait is finally over.

Great Britain had entered the second day of competition in joint second place after ending the first qualifying round with four faults on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia led the way, with GB tied with the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden.

Maher and Skelton had jumped faultless rounds on Sunday, while Scott Brash clipped the last fence.

Hertfordshire-based Maher said after the first day: 'There is so much experience in our team.

'We are all staying focused on our own jobs, and if we can all do what we can do on an individual basis, then we are as good as any team.'

Skelton, who is competing in his sixth Olympics, and Maher are also expected to be in and around the medals in the individual final on Wednesday.

Skelton, riding the brilliant nine-year-old stallion Big Star, once again led from the front as Britain's spearhead, jumped an immaculate clear round in the team competition first round.

'He felt amazing, he looked amazing, but he is amazing,' Skelton, 54, said.

'He hasn't got a negative that horse. He is the most perfect horse - he's a freak. As soon as he goes into the arena he just lights up.'

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