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Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Friday, 15 August 2008 18:27 UK

Skelton confident of GB success

Nick Skelton
Skelton was due to miss the Games after his horse Arko was withdrawn

Nick Skelton is confident Britain's show jumping team can achieve medal success in Hong Kong following the first round of individual qualifying.

Skelton, who rode for Team GB in Athens, enjoyed a clear round with one time penalty to finish joint 14th alongside compatriot Ben Maher.

Britain's Tim Stockdale had four points docked, while John Whitaker had five.

Thirteen riders went round completely clear with the results deciding the order of round one of team competition.

The first-round warm-up put the British team joint sixth overall.

"We have a good chance of getting a medal," the 50-year-old Skelton said. "It is certainly not beyond us."

Stockdale, however, was disappointed with his round after removing one fence.

"I am pleased to get going but I'm just annoyed with myself. I was trying a little too hard," said the 43-year-old.

"It is the first qualification so the idea is to get in there and get the horse used to the arena. It is an important competition but this day is the least important overall."

Olympic debutant Maher, on Rolette, was Britain's third rider and he received just one time penalty while clearing all fences.

Whitaker was Britain's fourth and final rider of the evening and one jump penalty and one time penalty on Peppermill meant he picked up five penalty points.

World number one Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum incurred six penalty points, while American Mclain Ward, who was part of the United States' gold medal-winning side in 2004, was one of the 13 riders to pick up no penalty points.

Another to seal a perfect ride was home favourite Patrick Lam of Hong Kong. Elsewhere, Ian Millar of Canada tied a record for the most Olympics by any individual, competing in his ninth.

His first was in Munich in 1972.

see also
Germany take dressage team gold
14 Aug 08 |  Equestrian
Arko out of 2008 Olympic running
15 Feb 08 |  Equestrian

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