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NZ's Andrew Nicholson wins 2012 Burghley Horse Trials

Sunday, September 02, 2012 • 16:44 BST


New Zealander Andrew Nicholson went one better than last year to win this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials – his third win at Burghley – with Mrs Rosemary Barlow’s Avebury. It is 12-years since the 51-year-old last won here and while he is perhaps the most prolific rider in the world that was also his last four-star win.

“It actually feels more like 20 years since I last won – is it only 12,” laughed Andrew. “Burghley is my favourite event to ride at and Avebury is a joy to ride – there have been days when he’s let me down and days when perhaps I’ve let him down but overall he is a lovely consistent horse. I came here expecting to go well – he’s been on good form all year so I knew we had a good chance – I am not surprised but I am highly delighted.”

Clear rounds were few and far between over Richard Jeffrey’s show jumping course – just four combinations from the 53 left in the competition did not add penalties to their score sheets in this phase.

Both Oliver Townend and Armada and William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk had two down which while retaining their fourth and third place also allowed both Andrew and the overnight leader Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville a bit more breathing space.

Andrew and Avebury took out just one pole which meant that Sinead had two fences in hand. Sadly Manoir de Carneville took out three poles handing the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge trophy and £55,000 first prize to Andrew and Avebury although Sinead received the runners up trophy.

“He warmed up beautifully and yes it was a bit disappointing but I am really proud of him. We have had an amazing week – we’ve not done as much as these two guys either side of me – and I am really lucky to have the horse,” said Sinead who travels back to America this week.

William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk finished in third place – high enough to ensure enough points for William to win this year’s HSBC Classics™ series and it’s $150,000 first prize. It is the third time in four years that William has won this lucrative prize. Andrew, just one point behind, was second.

“It was close – I came to Burghley knowing the pressure was on and I knew that Andrew was on fantastic form and winning by one point is a bit close but thank heavens for Parklane Hawk who has been fantastic,” said William. “Having two down is frustrating but what a record he’s got – perhaps with a more ideal preparation this year he’d have been back to his old best.”

The lovely grey Avebury, who was eighth here last here, is by the eventing stallion Jumbo, who Andrew also competed. He was bred by Andrew and wins the SHB(GB) prize as the highest placed horse by one of the societies stallions. Avebury is the second Burghley winner by Jumbo – he also sired the 2006 winner Headley Britannia.


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