Andrew Nicholson records first success at Badminton trials
Fifty-five-year-old pips Olympic and European champion Michael Jung to secure victory
New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson on Nereo during the Badminton Horse Trials. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA
New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson recorded his first success in the Badminton horse trials on Sunday with Deborah Sellar’s Spanish-bred gelding Nereo. The 55-year-old first competed at the four-star event in 1984.
Lying third going into the concluding phase, Nicholson, who broke his neck in a fall two years ago, picked up a single time penalty for a completion score of 41.4 penalties.
Next in, Germany’s Olympic and European champion Michael Jung lost his chance of recording a second four-star victory in a week when La Biosthetique Sam lowered one rail to drop below Nicholson on 44.
His compatriot Ingrid Klimke, who had taken over the lead following Saturday’s cross-country phase, was last to compete with Horseware Hale Bob. Unfortunately, they had three fences down, stopped once and incurred seven time penalties to drop right away to ninth on a total of 62.6.
Three Irish riders finished inside the top 20 with Joseph Murphy and Sportsfield Othello best in 13th place, one spot ahead of Clare Abbott and Euro Prince while Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift were 20th.