Andrew Nicholson and Avebury beat their own illustrious record at the Barbury International Horse Trials, sponsored by St James’s Place Wealth Management, with a magnificent fourth consecutive victory in the showpiece CIC3* class.
No horse in the history of eventing has ever won a class of this stature four times in succession. Last to go after a long afternoon’s tense wait, Rosemary and Mark Barlow’s wonderful 15-year-old grey was flawless across country, finishing 12 seconds inside the optimum time and easily holding his lead.
New Zealand riders, many of whom are based close to Barbury, have had a superb weekend, winning all three of yesterday’s CCI2* classes and scoring a 1-2-3 in the CCI3*with Andrew second on Nereo and Sir Mark Todd third on Leonidas ll.
“Avebury definitely knew where he was – he felt as if he really knew his way round and could have gone even faster,” said Andrew. “And I was thrilled with Nereo as well, who felt great. It’s a privilege to ride two horses like that.”
Nicola Wilson, the winner in 2010, was best British rider in fourth place on the delightful skewbald mare Beltane Queen, and another Kiwi, Tim Price, was fifth on Ringwood Sky Boy.
Laura Collett, who is also based locally, won the Horse Trials Support Group’s prize for the best British rider 25 and under; she was sixth on Grand Manouevre.
Chinese rider Alex Hua Tian, who was second overnight, rode a beautiful clear round on Don Geniro but took it steadily because the horse is only eight and was contesting his first CCI3*; they finished 16th with 18 time penalties.
Despite the rain, which, at times, was torrential, there were some brilliant performances around Mark Phillips’s big, bold course which offers such spectacular viewing in the natural amphitheatre at Barbury.
TOP TEN RESULTS
1 Avebury (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 33.9
2 Nereo (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 38.3
3 Leonidas II (Mark Todd, NZL) 38.4
4 Beltane Queen (Nicola Wilson, GBR) 44.1
5 Ringwood Sky Boy (Tim Price, NZL) 45
6 Grand Manoeuvre (Laura Collett, GBR) 45.3
7 Piaf De Bneville (Astier Nicolas, FRA) 46.6
8 Simon Porloe (Padraig McCarthy, IRE) 48.3
9 Indian Mill (Paul Tapner, AUS) 49.2
10 Minos De Petra (Pascal Leroy, FRA) 49.8
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