Andrew Nicholson received an FEI official warning at the recent Bramham Horse Trials (8-11 June), following a report to the ground jury “that [he] had been abusive to the event director [Harry Verney] on Saturday, 10 June”.

Nicholson won the event, but was vocal at Saturday night’s press conference about what he considered were inadequate measures taken to prepare the ground. The official warning was issued as a result of an earlier irate discussion he had with Mr Verney.

The ground jury initially offered Nicholson a yellow card, which he refused to accept. Following the official procedure, the ground judy then held a hearing, at which both he and Mr Verney were present, and issued Nicholson with an official warning.

“I didn’t want to accept a yellow card so an official warning was a way they could draw a line under the situation and put it down as being dealt with,” Nicholson told H&H.

“I didn’t feel I’d done anything to deserve [a yellow card] — they seemed to be missing the point that I was trying to make at the press conference, that when you have the likes of Hugh Thomas as technical delegate, riders expect things to be done [to the ground].

“I may have been abusive about certain people [when I was speaking to Harry Verney] but in my opinion I wasn’t abusive to Harry Verney.”

Mr Verney said: “When you consider all the avenues open to riders to express concern, at the rider meetings and through the rider representatives, it’s not good enough for someone of Andrew’s standing to go about things in this way and be incredibly rude to me.”

  • This news report was first published in Horse & Hound (22 June, ’06)