‘He feels like Avebury’: Andrew Nicholson’s high praise for his Barbury victor

Andrew Nicholson continued his domination at Barbury International Horse Trials when claiming his sixth big win at the venue in the CCI4*-S on Swallow Springs today (Sunday, 7 July).

The top New Zealand rider was sitting in equal sixth overnight following the dressage, alongside eventual third Alexander Bragg (Hester), with a score of 29.4 coming into the final day of the short-format competition.

Young rider Mollie Summerland had set a hot pace in the feature class when posting an impressive 23.8 dressage aboard Charly Van Ter Heiden. The 21-year-old maintained a cool head throughout the three phases, however one pole down showjumping saw them settle for second 1.2 penalties behind the winning pair.

Andrew was full of praise for 11-year-old Swallow Springs — a flashy grey son of Chillout who has 944 British Eventing points — and who is owned by Diana and Paul Ridgeon. He even compared him to his three-time Burghley winner Avebury, who also won at Barbury four-times.

Swallow Springs has always been a very good horse and he’s been consistent at winning prizes,” said Andrew.

“I trust him a little bit more now whereas before I used to protect him too much — now I can put pressure on him. He felt like Avebury going round the cross-country today, he’s got a stack of speed.”

Andrew also claimed Saturday’s CCI3*-S section B on the eight-year-old son of Meneusekal, As Is, who is owned by Deborah Sellar. The pair fended off Piggy French and Brookfield Inocent by one penalty.

Piggy was the victor of CCI3*-S section A on John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn’s Brookfield Quality — a ride of Piggy’s since April this year.

Adam Harvey and Picasso V took the runner-up spot after rolling a pole in the showjumping, finishing 1.8 penalties in arrears.

Don’t miss the full report from the Barbury International Horse Trials in the 11 July issue of Horse & Hound.

 

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