Andrew Nicholson is back winning three-day events! This time it was Bramham where he came from third after cross-country to triumph after all three phases. This is his first win at a long-format competition since his serious injury last year.
Show jumping was certainly very influential, and none of the riders at the top of the leaderboard managed a clear round. In fact there were only six clear rounds in the fifty horses through to the final phase. One of these was Andrew on his other horse Teseo, who finished seventh, and another was Tim Price on Xavier Faer who finished 10th. Caroline Powell was sixth on Onwards and Upwards.
On Jet Set IV, Andrew had one down but it left him on a score (45) good enough to take the title from Lauren Shannon on Quality Purdey (45.6). Andrew’s good mate, Oliver Townend, lost his winning chance when he had two down, finishing third on 45.9. The local rider has yet to win this event, but with his great team of horses it must come sometime! Australian Sammi Birch finished fourth.
Andrew Nicholson, speaking to journalists afterwards, was delighted with his young horse, who was having his first win at this level.
“He felt superb. I’m a bit gutted with myself for having one down. I held him up too much at the oxer.”
Andrew was very grateful to all his team, and acknowledged how tough it is for his wife Wiggy, who would understandably be very nervous watching him compete. He added:
“I have had enormous help from all sorts of physios and a lot of people like that. With my horses, with the jumping; because of my problems with my Federation, obviously I had to stop using Luis Alverez Cevera as a trainer, so I have called in another mate, Stephen Smith, who lives up here. Stephen has been helping with my jumping and I have found he has been great. He is very, very good at the very simple things which as a rider working by yourself you can get a bit lazy at – he has got me working properly on the very simple bits, like the approach to the fences. It’s great to have someone like him and he was able to pop up today as he comes from up around here. It was very helpful.”
Stephen Smith is none other than the son of the great show jumper, Harvey Smith.
When asked if he was brave or crazy to be riding after so serious an injury, Andrew replied “Crazy!” He qualified that by saying: “It’s easy to be brave, isn’t it? I enjoy what I am doing. I try to be calculated about it and I only ride the horses which I think are very, very good.”
The nine-year-old Spanish-bred horse has a big future. In his only other attempt at a CCI, Jet Set finished third at Tattersalls last year. Andrew really rates him, and we can see why: he is very talented. He is owned by Libby Sellar who also owns Nereo (who won at Bramham with Andrew in 2009) and has been a long-term owner of many of Andrew’s horses, including the wonderful Quimbo, who now lives in New Zealand (and who, incidentally, had a win recently at a show hunter show!).
Caroline Powell will be very pleased with her Onwards and Upwards: the pair added just four show jumping faults and finished sixth. Caroline was also 17th on Flying Finish, after adding nine faults in the final phase.
Jesse Campbell on Amsterdam II was 15th, and Dan Jocelyn on Dassett Cool Touch was 16th, two good efforts.
British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3*
Tim Price had a good result with his Olympic hopeful horse, Bango. They added just two time faults in the show jumping to their dressage score, finishing in fifth place. The only other New Zealander in that class was Sir Mark Todd who withdrew MK San Cero before the cross-country.
The class was the final hit-out before the British eventing team is selected and Gemma Tattersall must have even further strengthened her Olympic chances with a good win on Chico Bella P. Kristina Cook was second on Billy the Red and Pippa Funnell third on Billy the Biz. Kitty King was fourth on Ceylor LAN. William Fox-Pitt had a good run on Chilli Morning, finishing ninth, just adding a few cross-country time faults to his dressage score, and on New Zealand horse Parklane Hawk, finished 14th after having a rail show jumping.
Meanwhile, further south, Jock Paget had a win on Quixotic II in a BE100 at West Wilts, finishing on his dressage score of 26.5. New Zealand-bred Henton For Fun was second in an open novice class, ridden by Andrew McConnon.
— Bramham Park (@BramhamPark) June 12, 2016