New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson is in pole position of one of the major classes going into the final cross-country phase at the St James’s Place Barbury International horse trials.
Riding Avebury, Nicholson jumped a copybook clear to remain on his dressage score of 34.4 in section A of the CIC3*. Laura Collett, lying second on Rayef with 38.8, kept up the pressure with a clear round, and New Zealand’s Tim Price is in third place on Wesko with 42.6.
“I will probably have a sleepless night!” laughed Nicholson, who lives just down the road at Lockeridge. “Barbury is my local event and so it would mean a lot if I could win tomorrow.”
In the CIC3* section B, Piggy French and Tinka’s Time hold the lead, remaining on their dressage score of 36.4 when dressage leader Clark Montgomery’s Loughan Glen (USA) tipped a rail and dropped to third equal with Kitty King and Persimmon. Olympic silver medallists Mary King and Imperial Cavalier jumped clear into second place. There are fewer than four penalties separating the top seven riders.
Both of the three-star classes carry first prizes of £5000.
Nicholson is also eighth (Viscount George) and 14th on Nereo in this division. In the other divisions, Nicholson is 6th in the CIC2* (C) on Teseo; 15th on Tilikum (CIC2*D); 21st on Zaron (CIC2*E); 14th on Urma BK (Novice F); and 10th on Ulises (Open Novice I).
Marlborough-based Tim Price won the Intermediate-Novice RoR (Retraining of Racehorses) division on 19-year-old Vortex, the second year in succession the combination has won the class.