Nicholson Wins Burghley
Nicholson Wins Burghley
Andrew Nicholson has won the 2012 Burghley International Horse Trials.
The 51-year-old aboard Avebury (owned by Mark and Rosemary Barlow and Nicholson) bagged his third Burghley title in a heart-stopping showjumping phase at what is considered one of the greatest four star events in the world.
Nicholson was determined to win Burghley this year and had every belief in the 12-year-old grey gelding, who took a single rail in the showjumping but won by 2.5 penalty points ahead of overnight leader Sinead Halpin (USA) who dropped three rails.
“I’m not surprised to win, but highly delighted,” said Nicholson. “I came here expecting to do well and Avebury has been on good form all year, so knew we had a chance.”
Nicholson, who was second last year, has twice before won the Burghley crown – in 1995 on Buckey Province and 2000 on Mr Smiffy.
“It actually feels more like 20 years since I last won! Burghley is my favourite event to ride at and Avebury is a joy to ride.”
Nicholson bags £55,000 (pounds sterling) as the winner, as well as another $US75,000 (US dollars) as the runner-up in the lucrative HSBC Classics Series. His win wasn’t quite enough to get him ahead of William Fox-Pitt, and he was second by just a single point.
Burghley is certainly an event that seems to suits the Kiwis, with Jonathan Paget and Clifton Lush (owned by Frances Stead and Lucy Allison) finishing fifth, Mark Todd and Major Milestone (owned by Diane Brunsden and Peter Cattell) 12th, Nicholson and Calico Joe (owned by 2012 in Mind Syndicate) 13th and Caroline Powell and Boston Two Tip (owned by Alan Bell and Powell) 14th. Lucy Jackson, in her first Burghley start, was 19th with Willy Do (owned by Charlotte Greenlees and Jackson) and won the HSBC Training Bursary.
Todd, who freely admits Burghley is his favourite event, was a little disappointed not to finish in the top 10 with Major Milestone.
“His rail today was just his second ever with me,” he said, “but he was superb on the cross country. The showjumping was certainly influential today – those rails seemed to fall quite easily!”
Clear rounds in the showjumping were scarce, with just four of the 53 combinations left in the event going clear and inside time.
Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance coach Erik Duvander described Nicholson’s win as “magnificent”.
“Both horse and rider deserve that win.”
He was also chuffed with the efforts of Lucy Jackson, whose time he felt was really coming, and Caroline Powell’s Boston Two Tip, who was “looking like a real top horse for the future”.
Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Avebury (owned by Mark and Rosemary Barlow and Nicholson) 45.8 1, Sinead Halpin (USA) Manoir de Carneville 48.3 2, William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Parklane Hawk 51..4 3, Oliver Townend (GBR) Armada 51.5 4, Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Lush (owned by Frances Stead and Lucy Allison) 52.2 5, Allison Springer (USA) Arthur IV 57.2 6, Izzy Taylor (GBR) Briarlands Matilda 61.3 7, Kai Ruder (GER) Le Prince Des Bois 62.2 8, Sam Griffiths (AUS) Happy Times 62.4 9, Bettina Hoy (GER) Lanfranco TSF 63 10, Mark Todd (NZL) Major Milestone (owned by Diane Brunsden and Peter Cattell) 64.8 12, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Calico Joe (owned by 2012 in Mind Syndicate) 65 13, Caroline Powell (NZL) Boston Two Tip (owned by Alan Bell and Powell) 65.5 14, Lucy Jackson (NZL) Willy Do (owned by Charlotte Greenlees and Jackson) 78.8 19, Lucy Jackson (NZL) Animator II (owned by Jackson, Nigel Taylor and Kathy Brown) 104.5 41.
Best turned out: Jonathan Paget (NZL) and Allison Springer (USA).