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Foot Perfect Double Clear for Voila helps Great Britain finish 2nd in Furisiyya Nations Cup, UAE

The first of the Furisiyya FEI Nations Cup competitions took place in Al Ain (UAE) which saw Great Britain competing against eight other teams. Drawn 7th to go of the nine teams competing across the two rounds was Robert Smith with his own 11 year old bay mare Voila that took the role of pathfinder for the team.  Producing a superb clear round within the time set of 77 seconds for the fifteen jumping efforts required the combination met with considerable applause for producing the first faultless round within the time required.

Second to go and making her debut for the 5* Nations Cup team was 19 years old Yazmin Pinchen with Van de Vivaldi.  The combination looked set to follow in the footsteps of Robert and Voila having jumped clear to almost the last fence.  However, coming into an oxer just near the end of the course Van de Vivaldi put in an uncharacteristic stop, which he repeated resulting in their elimination in the first round. Next to go was Belgium based Joe Clee with Diablesse de Muze. Also making his debut at 5* Nations Cup competition, the combination were unlucky incurring 4-faults when they touched the last fence. Tina Fletcher with Hello Sailor incurred 4 faults when a fence fell mid-course and a time penalty.  This left Team GB in 4th place going into the second round.

Once again Robert Smith showed what a talented mare Voila is by producing a foot perfect round with a few seconds to spare giving Great Britain an extremely solid start to round 2.  Yazmin and Van de Vivaldi became the drop score for the team when they were once again eliminated at the same fence.  Joe and Diablesse de Muze, looking extremely comfortable in the arena were determined not to incur the same unlucky 4faults that they did in the first round. They produced a faultless round within time adding another clear to the one produced by Robert.  Tina Fletcher produced a clear but incurred a time penalty.  Together this left Great Britain finishing in 2nd place behind The Netherlands with Saudi Arabia in third.

Rob Hoekstra, World Class Performance Manager for Showjumping commented, “This was our first Nations Cup of the year and a few of the horses were perhaps a little rusty in the first round but came back great in the second.  Robert Smith’s performance was absolutely fantastic which really bodes well for the year ahead.”

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Balourado wins in Zurich

Robert Smith won the Toshiba Knock-Out on the 13 year old Balourado by Baloubet du Rouet to land the £7000 prize pot beating off rivals, Christina Liebherr, Vladimir Beletskey and ultimately, Daniel Etter in the final round.

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Voila On Form in Verona

With all eyes focused on the Verona Grand Rolex Prix FEI World Cup class, the Sunday, competition was fierce with all hoping to pick up the lion’s share of the €190,000 on offer.  With a total of twelve combinations producing a clear in the first round the spectators saw some incredible competition in the jump-off with all vying for the lucrative first place.   It was Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez-Moya however that secured the title with their double clear in a time of 43.20seconds with Zipper. Hot on their heels was Robert Smith with his own 10 year-old bay mare Voila IV taking 4th place who, although producing one of the only five double clears achieved, was just a few seconds behind in a time of 46.91 seconds.

Robert was also in the ribbons on the 12 year old grey Balourado whom he finished 5th on the 1.45m speed class.

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Balourado Placed in Helsinki

Robert Smith and Balourado narrowly missed out on 2nd place finishing just a whisker behind Scott Brash on Bon Ami and Dutchman Henk van de Pol on Chesterfield in the 1.45m Speed Class in Helsinki.  In fact just 0.10 seconds separated the first three placed riders.

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Voila in the Winners’ Line up in Ukraine

Donbass Equicentre hosted the first CSI5*-W tournament in Ukraine. 34 riders from 16 countries were fighting for the Grand Prix of Donbass Tour 2012.  The on form Voila, ridden by Robert Smith once again wowed crowds with her ability, notching up a double clear in the Grand Prix to land the combination 4th place.

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Great Britain Third in Dublin Nations Cup

Team GB, made up of Robert Smith (Voila IV), Nick Skelton (Carlo 273), John Whitaker (Argento) and Tina Fletcher (Hello Sailor) finished a respectable third in the Dublin Nations Cup.  Robert gave a counting score in both rounds with a single fence down in each on Voila IV.  They finished behind winners Ireland and second placed France.

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Smith 2nd at Hoofddorp

Following their recent success in Madrid, Robert Smith took 2nd place in the CSI2* show in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands with his impressive mare, Voila IV.

The Grand Prix which had a total prize purse of €23,000 saw seven clear rounds coming forward for the Jump Off. Only four of the seven managed to produce a double clear with Robert having to settle for 2nd place behind Abdullah Al Sharbatli and Melodie Ardente.

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Talan wins Ascona Grand Prix

Robert Smith jumped a winning double clear on the amazing Talan at Ascona (Switzerland) last weekend (24 July) to scoop the feature 1.55m Grand Prix and also the honours for the Leading Rider of the Show. 

He was one of fifteen clears that went through to the jump-off in this hotly contested event to challenge for the 32,000 euro car. 

Talan, the 11 year old stallion jointly owned by Robert and Di & Pennie Cornish, is currently second in British Showjumping’s Top Horse rankings.  His next outing is at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.

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Robert in the Prize Money in Fontainebleau

Robert was in the ribbons once again on both Talan and Balourado in France at CSI**** Fontainebleau (23-26 June). 

The grey gelding Balourado jumped a stylish clear in 1m45 Merial Grand Prix on Saturday to take 4th place.  Later, it was Talan’s turn.  The stallion owned jointly by Robert and Di & Pennie Cornish, produced another clear in 1m50 Grand Prix finishing in 5th.  Talan was once again in action in Sunday’s feature Grand Prix but a light touch of the pole resulted in a costly 4 faults.

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Balourado Jumps Brilliantly at La Baule

While Talan was making the headlines in the Nations Cup, the stunning grey Balourado was also making his mark by jumping fantastically to take the second place honours in the small Grand Prix at La Baule. Balourado is a very exciting horse indeed!

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