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Nicholson and Todd Charging at Blenheim

Nicholson and Todd Charging at Blenheim

Andrew Nicholson and Mark Todd are at the front of their respective fields at the end of second phases of competition in the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in the UK overnight.

World number one ranked Nicholson and Quimbo have held on to their lead in the CIC*** British Championship after the dressage and showjumping phases. The combination went clear in the showjumping, giving them a 4.2 penalty point buffer over second-placed Piggy French (GBR) and West Side.

Caroline Powell and Onwards and Upwards went clear to move up 23 spots into 19th slot after a clear round, with Todd and Leonidas II slipped back into 20th after bagging five faults. Three have withdrawn from the 70-strong field.

Meanwhile Todd aboard his catch ride Conair has charged up the CCI*** leaderboard into second place just behind William Fox-Pitt (GBR) on Seacookie who is chasing his 50th three day event victory.

As expected, the big and challenging Eric Winter-designed cross country created carnage

with 24 of the 90-strong field eliminated, retired or withdrawn.

Todd, who has only ridden Conair once before, finished clear with just 2.4 time penalties. Todd last won at Blenheim when he guided Land Vision to victory in the CIC*** in 2010.

“Blenheim is a proper three star track this year – perhaps a bit bigger than it has been recently – and that’s a good thing as it will set horses up well for Badminton,” said Todd, who admitted to a few “hairy moments” out on the course with Conair.

Nicholson’s hopes in the CCI*** went way-ward after he and Viscount George had a refusal and retired.

Jonelle Richards and Mere Oak moved up the leaderboard with a clear round and 9.6 time faults to sit in 14th place. Dan Jocelyn and Special Advocate moved up five spots into 25th after a clear round with time faults, while Jonelle Richards and The Deputy slid 11 spots after a refusal and time faults. Juliet Wood and Bold Trader rode a nice clear round to pick up just time faults.

The cross country in the CCI*** will run tonight, with the showjumping of the CIC*** also scheduled to go.


© Scoop Media

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