Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
EQUESTRIAN: Nicholson in the money at Burghley
10:59pm Sunday 8th September 2013 in Sport
MARLBOROUGH-BASED world number one Andrew Nicholson left the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials without the title he was defending - but celebrating a bumper pay day.
The New Zealander, 52, the winner of this year's Barbury Horse Trials, pocketed £174,000 despite finising behind countryman Jock Paget.
Nicholson's defending Burghley champion Avebury won £42,000 for second spot, while ride Nereo earned £32,000 for third and eighth-placed Calico Joe £4,000, while Nicholson also scooped the HSBC FEI Classics trophy and an additional £96,000.
The Classics rewards the most successful rider across world eventing's six four-star global competitions - Badminton, Kentucky, Luhmuhlen, Burghley, Pau and Adelaide - with Nicholson winning it this year by an emphatic margin.
Paget's triumph aboard Clifton Promise came just four months after he won the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials on the same horse, a feat last achieved by Ginny Leng with Master Craftsman 24 years ago.
And it means 29-year-old former apprentice bricklayer Paget, who did not take up riding until he was 18 and made his elite four-star competition debut only three years ago, will land the £225,000 Rolex Grand Slam if he wins at Kentucky next spring.
The Grand Slam is awarded to any rider who captures consecutive Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky crowns, but it has been achieved on just one previous occasion by Britain's Pippa Funnell in 2003.
Behind Paget and Nicholson in the Burghley top 10 were two other New Zealand riders - sixth-placed Jonelle Richards, who is based at Mildenhall and twice Olympic individual gold medallist Mark Todd, baed at Badgerstown near Marlborough, in seventh.
Nicholson paid tribute to his fellow New Zealander, and recalled working with Paget for a spell in 2009.
"I had to work him hard, but from the day he arrived I could see he had a lot of natural ability and that he wanted to learn," Nicholson said.
"He has always wanted to learn and he is always looking at ways in which he can improve, but the sad thing now is that he is beating me!"
MORE EQUESTRIAN NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD
Comments are closed on this article.