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Andrew Nicholson: Competition sharpens you up *H&H Plus*

Opinion

Andrew Nicholson on his one worry about the new normal in eventing

It’s good to be back competing, even if – at my first event back at Aston-le-Walls – four quite well-known riders came up to me, one by one, and said, “We thought you’d retired!”

It might have been because I hadn’t been at Barbury, my local event, the weekend before; instead, I was in Switzerland training the Swiss team, which I had originally organised round Barbury, but then its date was moved back a week and I was committed to going to Switzerland.

Mind you, I wished I had retired when I got up at 3.30am last Sunday to go to Bicton. I am enjoying it, though – I thought the horses and I were going well during lockdown, but competition sharpens you up and raises the bar in a way that training at home can’t do. So I’m sitting up straighter, my reactions are quicker… and watching the other riders, at all levels, everyone has got better. The sport looks very healthy.