Kiwis top four at British Open eventing champs

August 8, 2011

In what can only be described as a "blackwash", New Zealand eventers filled the first four placings at Gatcombe's British Open Eventing Championships at the weekend.

Andrew Nicholson and his British Open Championship winner Nereo. © Al Crook

Novice Championship winners Oliver Townend and Brucester Rooster. © Al Crook

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In the main class of the weekend, Kiwi team stalwart Andrew Nicholson filled the first two places with Nereo (1st, 29.9) and Avebury (2nd, 32.0), with Jonathan Paget and Clifton Lush third on 34.1, and Mark Todd and Major Milestone fourth with 35.8. Todd's mount, and Nicholson's Nereo, finished on their dressage scores.

Nicholson, who was last to go in the cross-country on Nereo, was held up on the course after a heavy fall by Emily Baldwin from Drivetime. It was the first win in the Open Championships for Nicholson, 50, since he won on Mallards Treat in 2002.

Nicholson also won both the advanced sections, the first on Calico Joe with 31.9, beating Australia's Chris Burton (Jaybee Calypso, 39.9), with British 19-year-old Tom McEwan third on the former racehorse Dry Old Party. In the second advanced class Nicholson prevailed on Quimbo (37.7), with William Fox-Pitt filling the next three places on Macchiato, Gaucho, and Neuf des Coeurs. Nicholson's Shady Grey was also sixth in this class.

Oliver Townend scored for the Brits in the Novice Championship, winning on Brucester Rooster (29.6), from Nicholson and Omeya (32.3). China's Alex Hua Tian was third on Furst Love with 33.2 penalties.

Britain's Angus Smales on Lover Hero won the Intermediate Championship, with Townend on Artic Mouse second. Italy's Vittoria Panizzon and Borough Pennyz took third spot.



Images © Al Crook

Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo.

Oliver Townend and Brucester Rooster

Alex Hua Tian and Furst Love

Christopher Burton and Jaybee Calypso

Tom McEwan and Dry Old Party

Tom McEwan accepts his prize from Princess Anne

Neil Spratt and Hugo's There III

William Fox-Pitt and Macchiato

Craig Nicolai and Just Ironic

Sacha Pemble and Libbysaurous

Dan Jocelyn and Special Advocate

Michael Jackson and The Master's Apprentice

Tim Price and Sporting Hero

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