Avebury claims his fourth consecutive Barbury CIC3* title for Andrew Nicholson, who also finishes second on Nereo.

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury galloped to victory in St James’s Place Barbury Horse Trials CIC3* this afternoon for the fourth consecutive year — and set a new record in the process.

“He felt superb. The moment I hopped on him I could tell he’s at a place he knows,” said Andrew of the 15-year-old grey who led from the outset on a mark of 33.9.

Avebury was one of five horses to finish on his dressage score.

“He’s been perky all week. In the warm up he felt very happy to be here and around the course he felt the same,” added Andrew.

Andrew also finished second on Nereo. This meant the New Zealand rider was in the fortunate position of knowing he had already won when he left the startbox on Avebury, because the final phase is run in reverse order of merit and the chestnut ran out of order earlier in the day.

“Nereo is class,” added Andrew. “A lot of people forget about him and he’s underrated. But he keeps turning up at these big events and doing his job — he’s very reliable.”

H&H columnist Mark Todd finished third on Leonidas II, while Nicola Wilson was best of the British, in fourth on Beltane Queen.

“I’m so happy with her,” said Nicola. “She just pricks her big ears, looks forward and enjoys her job, which is lovely to feel.”

Another Kiwi, Tim Price, claimed fifth on Ringwood Sky Boy, despite being held on course while a frangible pin was fixed at the Earthline Quarry (15).

Eight horses achieved the optimum time of 6min 52sec around the Mark Phillips-designed undulating track. These included the top five, despite heavy rain making the going slippier in places compared to earlier in the day, plus Paul Tapner (Indian Mill, ninth), Jonelle Price (Classic Moet, 12th) and Britain’s Becky Woolven (Charlton Down Riverdance, 31st).

RESULTS

  1. Avebury (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 33.9
  2. Nereo (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 38.3
  3. Leonidas II (Mark Todd, NZL) 38.4
  4. Beltane Queen (Nicola Wilson, GBR) 44.1
  5. Ringwood Sky Boy (Tim Price, NZL) 45
  6. Grand Manoeuvre (Laura Collett, GBR) 45.3
  7. Piaf De Bneville (Astier Nicolas, FRA) 46.6
  8. Simon Porloe (Padraig McCarthy, IRE) 48.3
  9. Indian Mill (Paul Tapner, AUS) 49.2
  10. Minos De Petra (Pascal Leroy, FRA) 49.8

Don’t miss the full St James’s Place Barbury Horse Trials report in the next issue of Horse & Hound, on sale 16 July.