Though she had held the overnight lead after taking all the fast cross-country routes with The Cool Customer on Saturday, Hollingsworth had serious doubts as to whether she would collect the big prize. She was, however, given a little extra breathing space when the next two in the placings - Brynley Powell on Spiderman III and Tait on Delta - made mistakes on the rain-drenched show jumping course.
Powell, lying second overnight after jumping the only cross-country round that was within the optimum time of 12 minutes, dropped back to fifth with 10 jumping and 2.5 time penalties.
Tait had one fence down which meant that Hollingsworth could afford a single error. 'I've been criticised in the past for working the horse in for too long before the show jumping,' Hollingsworth said. 'This time I kept myself busy watching the others on telly and I didn't get on until six horses before I was due into the ring.' She jumped a relaxed round, lowering only the last fence for victory.
Tait, who moved up one place to be runner-up, said that his only worry in a marvellous cross-country ride on Delta, came over the downhill Waterloo Gondola (fence nine). 'She stayed up in the air so long, I thought she would crumple on landing,' he said of the mare who is by the same sire as his world championship partner, Messiah.
Tim Randle, a 22-year-old veterinary student at Bristol, moved up from fifth to third after a clear round yesterday. Kristina Gifford, also 22 and the daughter of National Hunt trainer Josh Gifford, moved up three places to be fourth on Smithstown Lad.
BURGHLEY REMY MARTIN HORSE TRIALS (Lincs): Final results: 1 The Cool Customer (C Hollingsworth, GB) 66.0 penalties; 2 Delta (B Tait, NZ) 68.2; 3 Legs Eleven (T Randle, GB) 71.6; 4 Smithstown Lad (K Gifford, GB) 73.6; 5 Spiderman III (B Powell, GB) 74.55; 6 Mariachi (P le Goupil, Fr) 75.4.