Strong start for British showjumpers

04 August 2012 / 12:26

Nick Skelton and Ben Maher ensured a strong start for Great Britain's showjumpers on the first day of Olympic qualifying competition at Greenwich Park.

The top 60 of a 75-strong field progress into the second of five stages, and neither British rider encountered problems. Six-time Olympian Skelton was among the early starters on Big Star, a combination fancied by many judges to challenge strongly for individual gold.

"He jumped great," said Skelton, following an impressive clear round. "The course is nice today, but it will get more difficult as we go on over the next few days."

Maher was just as impressive on Tripple X III.

"It is good to get the first round out of the way," Maher said.

"We have been waiting a long time. It seems like time has stood still over the last few weeks. He will only improve on today's performance."

Britain's remaining team members, Scott Brash and Peter Charles, jump later today before the action tomorrow and Monday is taken over by the team competition.

Team medals will be decided on Monday - British showjumping last collected an Olympic gong 28 years ago - before individual medals are fought for next Wednesday.