20 reasons we love Andrew Nicholson

Happy birthday, Mr Nicholson!

August 1 is the day we celebrate horses’ birthdays, and it’s also many happy returns to Andrew Nicholson. Andrew is 55 today, and so we thought we’d celebrate by listing 20 of the reasons we love him!

  1. That time he casually jumped one-handed into a four-star water.
    Andrew on Quimbo at Kentucky, where they won on debut (Image: Libby Law)
    Andrew on Quimbo at Kentucky, where they won on debut (Image: Libby Law)

    2. Those Burghley wins, with Avebury. It’s the only time three four-stars have been won consecutively on the same horse.

    The first win was in 2012 (Image: Bob Langrish)
    The first win was in 2012 (Image: Bob Langrish)
    The second was in 2013; he was awarded the win after Jock Paget and Clifton Promise were disqualified (Image: Libby Law)
    The second was in 2013; he was awarded the win after Jock Paget and Clifton Promise were disqualified (Image: Libby Law)
    The third win, in 2014, was perhaps Andrew's finest (Image: Libby Law)
    The third win, in 2014, was perhaps Andrew’s finest (Image: Libby Law)

    3. Let’s not forget his earlier Burghley wins; the first was in 1995 on Buckley Province, and the second was in 2000 on Mr Smiffy. In those days, Burghley was sponsored by a pet food company.

     (Image: NZHP Library)
    In 1995 (Image: NZHP Library)
    Scan 2016-7-31 10.42.10
    Again in 2000 (Image: NZHP Library)

     

     

     

     

 

 

 

4. But he’s never given up on his quest to win Badminton, a title that eludes him despite 35 completions.

At Badminton on Cartoon II in 1997 (Image: Peter Nixon)
At Badminton on Cartoon II in 1997 (Image: Peter Nixon)

5. He’s a devoted father of four: Rebecca and Melissa from his first marriage, and Lily and Zach from his second.

Andrew and his wife Wiggy with Lily and Zach at Barbury (Image: Libby Law)
Andrew and his wife Wiggy with Lily and Zach at Barbury (Image: Libby Law)

6. He scrubs up in a dinner jacket pretty damned fine.

(Image: NZHP Library)
(Image: NZHP Library)

7. And he’s got his trot-up look honed to perfection.

With Qwanza at 2015 Luhmuhlen (Image: Libby Law)
With Qwanza at 2015 Luhmuhlen (Image: Libby Law)

8. Even managing to make a dodgy Olympic uniform look classy.

At the Sydney Games (Image: NZHP Library)
At the Sydney Games (Image: NZHP Library)

9. See, we told you.

At London in 2012 (Image: Bob Langrish)
At London in 2012 (Image: Bob Langrish)

10. But he’s not afraid of busting out a more casual look.

In 1986 (NZHP Library)
In 1986 (NZHP Library)

11. There’s that smile, that sets the hearts of thousands of females a’flutter.

(Image: Libby Law)
(Image: Libby Law)

12. But that forthrightness, that sets the knees of a thousand officials a’trembling.

Remonstrating with an official at London (Image: Fairfax NZ)
Remonstrating with an official at London (Image: Fairfax NZ)

13. There’s the fact that no cross-country fence daunts him.

On Pointe Noire at Bramham in 1998 (Image: NZHP Library)
On Pointe Noire at Bramham in 1998 (Image: NZHP Library)

14. Even the really weird ones.

On Hinnegar at Burghley in 1998 (Image: NZHP Library)
On Hinnegar at Burghley in 1998 (Image: NZHP Library)

15. And there’s no turn too tight, or inside line too impossible.

On Nereo at Burghley in 2013 (Image: Libby Law)
On Nereo at Burghley in 2013 (Image: Libby Law)

16. There were those two bronze medals (team and individual) at the World Equestrian Games in 2010, which signalled the end of New Zealand’s decade-long medal drought.

On Nereo after the medal ceremony at Kentucky (Image: Barbara Thomson)
On Nereo after the medal ceremony at Kentucky (Image: Barbara Thomson)

17. And that agonising fourth spot at London, which nevertheless anchored the New Zealand team into another bronze-medal win.

Jumping clear at London on Nereo (Image: Bob Langrish)
Jumping clear at London on Nereo (Image: Bob Langrish)

18. There’s the fact he’s always got time for young fans.

During his 2012 New Zealand visit (NZHP Library)
During his 2012 New Zealand visit (NZHP Library)

19. There’s the undeniable truth that he’s the consummate horseman.

On Cartoon II at Badminton 1998 (Image: NZHP Library)
On Cartoon II at Badminton 1998 (Image: NZHP Library)

20. And there’s this photo from our files, which was too good not to share.Scan 2016-7-31 10.46.42We wish you many happy returns Andrew, and hope you enjoy a wonderful day!Scan 2016-7-31 10.39.52