New king crowned in Eventers Grand Prix

  • Andrew Nicholson and Mallard’s Treat snatch victory at Hickstead in classic all-action Mitsubishi Eventing Grand Prix

    New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson snatched Pippa Funnell’s Hickstead crown – and a Mitsubishi Pinin Shogun worth £13,000 – in the annual special competition for eventers and show jumpers. However, Andrew doesn’t get to keep the car – the owner has it earmarked for his 18-year-old son who is due to take his driving test in four days’ time.

    Pippa could only finish third this time, in the competition she has made her own, winning three of the last four runnings on Anne Burnet’s grey mare, The Tourmaline Rose who was too strong.

    Sweden’s former international eventer Peder Frederickson flew the show jumping flag – he has since switched disciplines – and was second on the mare Four Roses, on whom he had recently won a similar competition in Falsterbo.

    Last year’s runner-up, Michael Whitaker, was disappointed to finish fourth, having given it a terrific crack on Chris Ward’s intermediate eventer, Sir Dono.

    Rhythm was the key to Andrew’s victory. Riding Ray Carroll’s four-star horse Mallard’s Treat, on whom he was fourth last year, Andrew never looked in a hurry, he only had two poles down and his speed – he beat Peder by 1.5sec – was deceptive.

    Andrew described the competition as “the most exciting of the season I love coming here, even when I don’t do well. It’s better than riding a four-star course because things happen so quickly.”

    Chris Bartle, who set the early target with just two rails down (10 penalties to add to his time), finished fifth, ahead of show jumper Guy Williams, who lit up the arena with a fabulously bold display which sadly could not match Chris and left him in eventual sixth.

    New Zealand newcomer Heelan Tompkins was seventh on her little horse Glengarrick and Peter Charles, who has made two heroic – and injurious – assaults on this competition before, was eighth on Robert Lemieux’s eventer Ivor Mission.

    Report full report in Horse & Hound (1 August) and in Eventing (on sale Aug 16).

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