Equestrianism: Rider dies after fall at fence

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The Independent Online

The popular top-flight event rider Caroline Pratt, died yesterday after a crushing fall in water towards the end of the cross-country course here.

The popular top-flight event rider Caroline Pratt, died yesterday after a crushing fall in water towards the end of the cross-country course here.

Pratt, 42, from Middlewich in Cheshire, died in hospital after her horse, Primitive Streak, who was tiring, failed to clear the jetty at the Lake Crossing fence and fell on Pratt in the water. A police spokesman said: "It appears that the horse fell on top of her and she suffered serious crush injuries. She was taken to the Peterborough District Hospital by road ambulance where she later died."

Her death has stunned fellow riders and the sport will take a major step backwards at the news. Pratt, who was single, was on the Great Britain long list for the 2000 Olympics and had competed at European level and at Badminton, and finished seventh here last year. She ran a competition and livery yard.

The Australian Andrew Hoy ended the cross-country section in the lead after a dominant display on Moon Fleet. But the overnight leader Pippa Funnell retired from the event at the first Trout Hatchery.

Hoy, who fell in Athens and saw his wife, Bettina, win, lose, win again and finally lose the individual gold medal and team gold for Germany, rode like a driven man to fill first and third places after the cross-country phase.

His first horse, Moon Fleet, jumped clear with four time-faults, the fastest time of the day, almost equalled by Hoy himself on Master Monarch. Andrew Nicholson, on Lord Killinghurst,was second with 13.2 time penalties.

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