ANDREW Nicholson knocked himself off the lead of the CIC*** as he strengthened his grip on the Barbury Horse Trials today.
Having lead the first day of the four-day event on the Marlborough Downs with Nereo, the Marlborough-based New Zealander bested himself in the dressage stage with Avebury, as the duo aim to win the three-star event for the fourth year running.
Chinese rider Alex Hua Tian had taken the early lead on day two on board Don Geniro with a score of 37.3, but fans' favourite Nicholson has given himself a solid lead picking up 33.9 penalty points.
Francis Whittington goes into the show jumping stage tomorrow as Nicholson’s closest challenger with a score of 37.1.
Nicholson also holds a further place inside the top 10 on Nereo, who moved down to fourth place on day two, with Badgerstown based Sir Mark Todd finishing in fifth on Leonidas II.
Todd however lost the lead of the CIC** section B standings as British rider Sophie How took the lead with a score of 37.2, pushing the New Zealander down to second on Brownsville Bertie (38.6), and Andrew Nicholson is in third on Loughnatousa Joey (38.7).
West Littleton’s Harry Meade also dropped a place to finish the second day in fourth on Vrolijk (38.7).
Mildenhall-based Kiwi Tim Price and The Court Jester kept hold of top spot in section C with 36.1, with Britain’s William Fox-Pitt and Ramdam De Mons leading section D from Oliver Townend on Dromgurrihy Blue, and Maizey Manor Farm-based compatriot Jesse Campbell and Cleveland.
Price secured victory in the Novice section F as he went clear in the show-jumping stage to knock Tom McEwen and Royal Roxey off the top spot.
Fox-Pitt won the Novice section G on Dynasty, while Blunsdon-based Zoe Wilkinson, on Killinick Native, was beaten to top spot in the Novice section H by the Brit.
Dani Evans won the Novice section I, while Meade took top spot in the Open Novice section J on Tenareze.