14:48 07 August 2012
Supporters packed out Greenwich Park on Monday to witness Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Scott Brash and Peter Charles ride to victory after an eight point tie with the Dutch at the Olympic games.
Despite the rider’s career facing a tragic early end after a fall in 2000 left him with a broken neck, jockey Skelton, 54, led the team on Big Star at the individual jumping event in his sixth Olympics. Accepting his medal, he was over-joyed at succeeding on home turf.
With a steady start from Skelton in the first round racing faster than his rival Jur Vrieling, Maher was up next with another clear race.
Young newcomer Brash, aged 26, had a fence down in the third round, but the third rider for the opposition, Marc Houtzager, took four faults making the top spot come in reach for Team GB.
It was when Charles, the 52-year-old Irish-British equestrian, raced a steady clear fourth round that first place was sealed for the team. This came after an unsettling week as crowd noise had previously disturbed his horse Vindicat.
But the cheers were welcomed by the team as the crowd went mad for Britain for holding on to a show jumping Olympic gold.
The event saw Saudi Arabia coming in third place.
Team GB look set to beat their Bejing medal total four years ago with USA and China still in the lead.
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