Nicola Wilson has been one of the most consistent performers at four-star level in recent years with the super jumper Opposition Buzz.

She made her British senior squad debut at the 2009 European Championships in Fontainebleau, and proved a great trailblazer, going on to finish ninth individually and taking team gold. A year later, she was pathfinder for the Brits at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, taking team gold and 15th individually. In 2011, she again kicked off the British efforts, this time at the European Championships at Luhm ¼hlen, where the team collected bronze and she finished 16th.

Nicola was initially left off the team for the 2012 London Olympics, but got a late call-up to the squad when Piggy French’s horses were injured. Once again, she and Opposition Buzz proved impeccable pathfinders with a faultless clear across country and the team collected a silver medal.

She first rode for Britain internationally at the 1997 young rider Europeans, as an individual on Mr Bumble, and a year later finished 10th at Burghley on the same horse.

Her next eye-catching four-star results were with Skiver, with whom she was ninth at Luhmuhlen in 2005, earning a reserve listing for that year’s European Championships.

Her partnership with Rosemary Search’s Opposition Buzz took off when they were 16th at Badminton in 2007 and they followed that with 15th at Burghley, 12th at Badminton 2008 – which gave them another reserve slot, this time for the Hong Kong Olympics – and fifth at Burghley that autumn. Nicola clinched her spot on the British squad with 11th place at Kentucky in April 2009.

Her other strong results with Opposition Buzz include eighth at Badminton 2010 and seventh there in 2011. The pair have twice won the Scottish open championships at Blair (2009 and 2010) and Nicola also took the title in 2011 with Opposition Buzz’s half-brother Bee Diplomatic. In 2010, Nicola and Opposition Buzz also won the prestigious CIC*** at Barbury Castle.

Not to be confused with the Sussex-based 2007 young rider silver medallist also named Nicola (Nikki) Wilson, Nicola was born in 1976 and is from Yorkshire. She is married to property developer Alastair Wilson. Her maiden name was Tweddle and her mother Mary is a former joint-master of the Bedale.

Don’t miss H&H’s exclusive interview with Nicola in 5 January 2012 magazine

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