Equestrianism: Full sweep bonus within Hoy's reach

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The Independent Online

The Australian Andrew Hoy dominates the leaderboard after the cross-country section at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, retaining his dressage lead on 15-year-old Moon Fleet and standing third on his earlier ride Mr Pracatan. Lucinda Fredericks divides the pair with her courageous little mare Headley Britannia, with yet another Australian Shane Rose lying fourth on All Luck.

Hoy is well poised to land not only the generous £45,000 first prize here but a massive $250,000 (£134,000) bonus from Rolex if he completes the Grand Slam of victories at Badminton, Kentucky and now Burghley, which Pippa Funnell achieved in 2003. Hoy made it all look effortlessly smooth, coming home one second inside the time on Moon Fleet, without appearing to hurry.

Only a small handful of professionals repeated this, including Hoy on Mr Pracatan and the Britons William Fox-Pitt, riding last year's winner Ballincoola, and Jeanette Brakewell on her remarkable 18-year-old Over To You, now standing fifth and sixth.

The other half of the Hoy eventing couple, Bettina, Andrew's wife, fell heavily at the first water test and retired.

Fence 20 caused problems for Lucinda Fredericks, as Tor Brewer, the rider ahead of her, fell there and was on the ground as she approached. The crowd shouted at her to stop, which she did. At that point, Headley Britannia was on target to make the time despite but the delay was not officially timed and the 6.4 time faults awarded were later adjusted to 1.25, making her the best placed rider to thwart Andrew Hoy today.