Equestrianism: Fredericks teaches Word Perfect the beauty of speed

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The Independent Online

Lucinda Fredericks was obviously in a hurry when she set out on Headley Britannia in yesterday's Eventing Grand Prix, which she won for the first time by 5.92sec.

Lucinda Fredericks was obviously in a hurry when she set out on Headley Britannia in yesterday's Eventing Grand Prix, which she won for the first time by 5.92sec.

"I jumped a slow clear round here in 1999 and I lost by one second, this time I was determined to go for it," she said.

Last to go over the long course of 28 fences, Fredericks collected a five-second penalty for one fence down. But this time she was fast and she overtook Chris Bartle, who was leading on the former Badminton winner, Word Perfect II, in this annual contest between event and show-jumping riders.

Sarah Cutteridge, who will be on the British Olympic eventing team in Athens next month, was third on Erbium, with Nicky Boulter best of the show jumpers in fourth place on Magna Carta II. Robert Whitaker, riding Sir Dino, was the fastest of all. His effort was penalised 35 seconds, however,for seven fences down, and he finished in fifth place. He finished a place ahead of Pippa Funnell, another member of the Olympic event team, on Viceroy II.

Today, 21-year-old Robert Whitaker will be part of the British quartet for the Super League Nations Cup, on the mare Qualite. Robert Smith jumps first for Britain on Mr Springfield, followed by Richard Davenport on Luc with Nick Skelton filling the final place on his good Olympic prospect, Arko III.

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