Foot-perfect Mr Pracatan gives Hoy the advantage

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The Independent Online

Hoy had ridden Mr Pracatan here in 2001 when he and his German wife, Bettina, left their Gatcombe base because of the foot and mouth outbreak and spent time in Germany. "There was no way I would have predicted that Mr Pracatan would be my horse for the Athens Olympics or that he'd be in the lead after dressage here at the World Cup final."

The horse fell at the Olympics, but was foot perfect this year at Badminton where he finished sixth.

William Fox-Pitt, now lying seventh on a slightly edgy Ballincoola, is best of the British. "He was a bit fractious and he has gone better, but I was pleased with the way he contained himself," Fox-Pitt said of the horse. He believes that today's twisting cross-country track will demand harmony between horse and rider,

Britain's team trainer, Yogi Breisner, believes that the optimum time on the cross-country will be difficult to achieve. "The course is not particularly big or technical but it's tricky," he said of the track which is sited on undulating ground in a public park.

Eventing World Cup Final: (Malmo, Sweden): Standings after dressage: 1 Mr Pracatan (A Hoy Aus) 39.3 penalties; 2= Karuso (P Antsu, Fin) and Ben Along Time (C Fredericks, Aus) 40.4; 4 Flambeau II (S Deitermann, Ger) 43.7. GB: 7 Ballincoola (W Fox-Pitt) 46.5; 11 Duel (B Hughes) 49.8; 14 Sir Roselier (J Tew) 50.7; 19 Rinte Van D (M Carey) 53.3.

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