Equestrianism: Hoy's win marred by tragedy

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ANDREW HOY'S victory in the International Section of the Brittany Ferries Three-Day Event in Windsor Great Park was overshadowed by the death of the 23-year-old rider, Richard Adams, who sustained fatal injuries on Saturday's cross-country.

Adams, who spent four years as a residential pupil of New Zealand's Mark Todd, was riding in the National Section. His horse, Another Hero, hit the Captain's Table (fence 14) and fell on him. Two consultants from Hammersmith Hospital were at his side within a minute but he died on the way to Wexham Hospital.

Todd paid tribute to Adams yesterday. 'Richard was a really nice young man, totally dedicated to horses and with fantastic parental back-up.'

Hoy, formerly based with Capt Mark Phillips at Gatcombe and a member of Australia's winning team in last year's Olympic Games, had jumped clear within the optimum time over Saturday's cross-country to take the lead. His mount was the eight-year-old grey mare Snow Gum, one of the horses he saw on a six-day trip to England last Christmas.

He bought the mare on New Year's Day despite doubts about her breeding (a mixture of Dutch Warmblood and Arab) because 'she moved well on the flat and could show jump well'. The latter point was proved when Snow Gum completed a polished clear round in yesterday's final show jumping to win the contest.

Hoy's two nearest rivals - Pippa Nolan on Merry Gambler and Ian Stark on Dear Hardy - were also clear to fill second and third places.