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Britain wins equestrian gold in jump-off

London, England (Sports Network) - Great Britain beat the Netherlands in a jump-off Monday to win its first Olympic gold medal in equestrian team jumping in 60 years.

The four British riders incurred just four combined penalties in what amounted to a playoff to decide the gold and silver medals. The Dutch had 12 penalties -- eight of them on two downed rails by Maikel van der Vleuten.

Britain's first gold in the event since the 1952 Helsinki Games was locked up by Peter Charles' flawless score as the fourth rider, touching off a raucous celebration at Greenwich Park.

"I've never seen people like it, they're unbelievable," said British rider Nick Skelton. "Absolutely great, great for the country and great for our sport."

Skelton and Ben Maher also finished their jump-off rides without a penalty while Scott Brash knocked down a rail.

Jur Vrieling led off for the Dutch without a penalty, but van der Vleuten and Marc Houtzager incurred 12 between them. Gerco Schroder was set to ride fourth but didn't get to.

Saudi Arabia entered the second round with the lead but ended third after 13 penalties Monday. It was the country's third Olympic medal ever, and second in equestrian. The Saudis finished with 14 penalties -- six more than Britain and the Netherlands.

Switzerland was fourth and Canada fifth. The United States tied for sixth with Sweden after winning each of the last two Olympic titles.

Skelton, van der Vleuten and Houtzager share the individual jumping lead with clean scores after three qualifiers. Medals are awarded Wednesday after the final rounds.

Reigning Olympic champion Eric Lamaze is tied for 22nd place with 9 penalties while American Rich Fellers is knotted in 11th with 8.

08/06 12:55:21 ET

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