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Powell And Nicholson Heading Kiwi Charge At Burghley

Powell And Nicholson Heading Kiwi Charge At Burghley

Andrew Nicholson and Caroline Powell are in striking distance of victory at the Burghley International Horse Trials in the UK after stunning clear rounds in the cross country this morning (Sunday NZ time).

There is nothing in it as the prestigious event heads into the final showjumping stage, with just 3.7 penalties across the top four.

William Fox-Pill (GBR) on the New Zealand-bred thoroughbred Parklane Hawk are in front sitting on 37, with Nicholson and Avebury on 42.8, and defending champ Powell and the evergreen Lenamore also on 42.8.

Just one rail in the showjumping is four penalties, so there's no room for any mistakes.

Captain Mark Phillips' cross country challenged the field today, with just 10 of the 78 starters coming home clear and inside time – four of those were Kiwis, with 22 combinations retired, eliminated or withdrawn.

It was a serious big four star course that wasn't tight and technical, rather one with big straight forward galloping jumps.

Two-time Burghley winner Nicholson described it as a course of two halves, saying you worked hard on the first half and could catch up on the second.

“Those were a little bit more old fashioned-style fences.”

But, it's an event he loves and he's looking forward to the showjumping.

“I just need to go out and jump two clear rounds and we'll see what the others do,” he says.

He picked up time faults on his other mount Nereo and is sitting if fifth spot.

Powell had plenty of praise for 18-year-old Lenamore, who would create history as the first horse to win back to back should he pull it off tomorrow.

She contemplated whether it would be his last Burghley but said it would be such a shame.

“He just adores the place. I am just hoping he comes out tomorrow and jumps well – if it is going to be it will be,” says Powell. “I just hope he comes out of the whole competition his cheeky little self.”

Also going clean and clear in the cross country was Jonathan Paget on Clifton Lush.

Craig Nicolai and Just Ironic made the biggest dash up the field thanks to their clean efforts in the cross country, moving up 45 places into 32nd spot after a forgettable dressage test the day before.

Jonelle Richards on Flintstar, Clarke Johnstone on Incognito III, Mark Todd on Major Milestone and Neil Spratt on Upleadon all went clear but picked up time faults.

Todd admitted he was “slightly niggled” to pick up two time penalties.

“We went a bit too steady at the beginning and I gave myself too much to do at the end of the course,” he says.

Burghley concludes overnight with the all important showjumping phases.

Results (after the dressage and cross country phases):

William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Parklane Hawk 39.7 dressage, 0 cross country, 39.7 total, 1;

Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Avebury 42.8, 0, 42.8 2; Caroline Powell (NZL) 42.8, 0, 42.8 3; Mark King (GBR) Kings Temptress 42.2, 1.2, 43.4 4; Andrew Nicholson (NZL) 42.3, 2.8, 45.1 5; Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Lush 52.7, 0 52.7 13; Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Promise 50.8, 2.4, 53.2 16; Neil Spratt (NZL) Upleadon 49.5, 4.4, 53.9 19; Mark Todd (NZL) Major Milestone 56.5, 2, 58.5 22; Clarke Johnstone (NZL) Incognito III 58.2, 2, 60.2 23; Craig Nicolai (NZL) Just Ironic 67.5, 0, 67.5 32; Jonelle Richards (NZL) Flintstar 64.5, 3.6, 68.1 33; Dan Jocelyn (NZL) Special Advocate 56, 18, 74 41; Caroline Powell (NZL) Mrs Tilly 61, 39.2, 100.2 57; Blyth Tait (NZL) Santos II retired.

ENDS

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