Nicola Wilson wowed the crowds at Addington Manor last Friday, winning the qualifier for the indoor cross-country class at the British Open Show Jumping Championships.

The 22-year-old, from Millands, Hampshire, rode skewbald Mini Mr Bigglesworth to beat Brook Stables (Primitive Pistol) and Jo Chipperfield (Ferndale Ballyheen) to the number one spot. These top three all qualify for the British Open.

Nicola (pictured) said: “The whole thing was fantastic. I’ve never been to anything like this before, but it was really good fun.”

The 2007 young rider European Championship silver medallist battled against 30 competitors to take the top spot.

She said: “I’m not nervous about the Open, it will be a great experience for me. At the moment I am just taking everything in my stride.”

Nicola settled on riding Mini Mr Bigglesworth — rather than her other top horse, young rider medallist Oingy Boingy — at the Addington qualifier because the skewbald is much faster.

She said: “Oingy Boingy requires much more effort. Mini Mr Bigglesworth is quite quirky so I’m not sure how he will cope with the crowds, but we will find out.”

Nicola, Brook and Jo will join invited riders such as Pippa Funnell, William Fox-Pitt and Zara Phillips at this year’s British Open.

The indoor cross-country competition, which consists of approximately 16 show jumps and cross-country fences, will take place on the evening of 18 April at Birmingham’s NEC.

Other attractions at the British Open will include arena polo with Katie Price, musical dressage performances by Andrew Gould and a variety of trade stands.