Andrew Nicholson speaks out after being left off New Zealand squad

  • Andrew Nicholson has told H&H he is “disappointed” in his federation after being left off the New Zealand high performance squad list for 2015 — despite making himself available for selection.

    In October Andrew withdrew himself from the selection process until a review following the World Equestrian Games (WEG), after a reported disagreement with a team vet.

    The seven-time Olympian alleged his ride Nereo was left without veterinary assistance on several occasions.

    He maintains that he had to find someone to track the vet down, which led to “robust discussion and an argument”.

    ESNZ countered that, telling H&H that horse wellbeing “is always ESNZ’s primary concern”.

    Andrew said he had since written to Equestrian Sport New Zealand (ESNZ) putting himself forward for the squad — but this hadn’t been put to the high performance selectors by ESNZ.

    “I’m very disappointed with them, but obviously they have their own reasons,” he added.

    Andrew, who is the country’s best performing rider — winning a Burghley hat-trick, as well as leading the Kiwi team to bronze at London 2012 — was not among the seven riders named last month.

    Mark Todd, Jock Paget, Caroline Powell, Lucy Jackson, Clarke Johnstone and Jonelle and Tim Price make up the list.

    “Andrew officially withdrew himself from the New Zealand high performance squad on 2 October 2014,” Vicki Glynn of ESNZ told H&H.

    “We accepted that withdrawal, which was part of an internal agreement between ESNZ and Andrew. While Andrew more recently asked to return, in ESNZ’s view the circumstances have not changed.

    “We look forward to Andrew competing as an individual for New Zealand at international events over the coming year.”

    However, Andrew said he wouldn’t let this affect his training.

    “I will just try to carry on improving as I normally do,” he said.

    “It’s not the first time I haven’t been on the high performance list and I’ve been okay before.”

    To read Andrew’s frank comments in full, exclusive to H&H, don’t miss this week’s magazine, out Thursday 8 January or follow this link to read them online via H&H VIP

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