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Silver For Nicholson At Burghley

Silver For Nicholson At Burghley

Kiwi eventers have finished in three of the top five spots at the prestigious Burghley International Horse Trials in the UK this morning (Mon NZ time).

Andrew Nicholson was second aboard Nereo behind Brit William Fox-Pitt on his New Zealand thoroughbred Parkland Hawk, who collect a record six title after a rain-affected final round.

World Champs bronze medalist Nicholson had two horses in the top five going into the final showjumping phase but three rails on Avebury saw them slip from second to eighth spot, and a lovely clear on Nereo just wasn't enough to edge out Fox-Pitt. But Nicholson, who has twice won the title before, said that while he was disappointed to take rails, he was pleased with both his horses who had done well in sticky conditions.

Defending champ Caroline Powell and Lenamore had two rails down in the showjumping to finish fourth, but she also heaped praise on her little grey.

“At the end of the day he is the most amazing horse,” she says.

Jonathan Paget, in his first start at Burghley, finished fifth on Clifton Lush, ending the event on their dressage score, and was 12th on his World Champs horse Clifton Promise.

“That was Promise's first rail all year I think, so a bit disappointing,” says Paget, who was seventh at World Champs. “The showjumping was tough out there.” Mark Todd rode Major Milestone to a brilliant clear round to finish in 14th spot, with Clarke Johnstone and Incognito III also going clear to finish in 17th position. Equestrian Sports New Zealand eventing high performance leader Erik Duvander said Burghley had been a great week for the Kiwis.

“They all rode well and while it is a little disappointing with Caroline (Powell) on Lenamore, and Andrew (Nicholson) on Avebury, both taking rails, it wasn't our day. It got very sticky in the showjumping and got worse as it went on,” he says. “Even a clear round wouldn't have beaten William today – it was his competition.” Powell had been “unbelievable” on the cross country aboard her little 18-year-old horse.

“Lenamore is such a crowd favourite here and they really pleased everyone by making the cross country look easy.”

The combination were one of ten clear inside the time on the cross country that everyone described as anything but easy.

Duvander was cuffed to see New Zealand “right up there”.

He's particularly excited about Paget and Clifton Lush's efforts.

“This is a new ride for Jonathan this year and he rode like an absolute champion in the showjumping which has been the horse's weakest phase. I'm thrilled to have another combination in our list of potentials.”

Duvander also had plenty of praise for Johnstone and Incognito III who had been “outstanding” in both the cross country and showjumping phases.

ESNZ chief executive Jim Ellis says the results show the success of a well honed high performance programme.

“Six out of the top 14 is an excellent outcome and confirmation of the ongoing success of our programme as we come toward the end of our Northern Hemisphere season.”

Results: William Fox Pitt (GBR) Parklane Hawk 40.7 1, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Nereo 45.1 2, Mary King (GBR) Kings Temptress 47.4 4, Caroline Powell (NZL) 50.8 4, Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Lush 52.7 5, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Avebury 54.8 8, Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Promise 57.12 12, Mark Todd (NZL) Major Milestone 58.5 14, Clarke Johnstone (NZL) Incognito III 60.2 17, Neil Spratt (NZL) Upleadon 61.9 20, Jonelle Richards (NZL) Flintstar 72.1 27, Craig Nicolai (NZL) Just Ironic 77.5 38, Dan Jocelyn (NZL) Special Advocate 94 47, Caroline Powell (NZL) Mrs Tilly 109.2 52.


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