Nicholson’s Avebury wins Burghley British-bred prize

Burghley winners Andrew Nicholson (NZ) and Avebury.
Burghley winners Andrew Nicholson (NZ) and Avebury. © Mike Bain

New Zealand eventer Andrew Nicholson’s Burghley winner Avebury has won the breeder’s prize for the highest placed British bred horse at the event.

A cheque for £1000, which comes from the proceeds of the annual British Breeding Breeders Awards Dinner held every January, was sent to Nicholson immediately after the event in recognition of this 12 year old grey gelding, by renowned event stallion Jumbo, out of 2008 British Breeding Breeders Dinner outstanding broodmare award winner, Bairn Free (by Bairn, USA).

Avebury is owned by Mark and Rosemary Barlow.

Nicholson bought the thoroughbred, Bairn Free, out of race training. Under the name Memento, she won and was placed in Novice events, and was then put in foal.

“I really value a good amount of thoroughbred blood in an event horse” Nicholson said. “When the cross country gets longer, at 3* and above, the thoroughbred blood is what you need to make both the distance and the time.”

Nicholson sold Bairn Free to Mark Chamberlayne in 2001, and she has proved to be a consistent brood mare with several progeny who are competing at the highest levels.

Nicholson has a full brother to Avebury, the 10 year old Tristar II, who has won at advanced level and also finished 11th at Bramham 2012. Mark Chamberlayne owns and bred the nine year old gelding Tomaz Gudanov (by Barishnikov), who is competing successfully with Dan Jocelyn at 2* level. Sadly, Bairn Free died in 2006.

Avebury’s sire, Jumbo, is an international advanced eventer who was ridden by Nicholson for most of his career. The son of Skippy has sired Badminton, Burghley, Bramham, Blenheim, Saumur and Rolex Kentucky winners, including dual 4* winner, Headley Britannia. He stands at the Grafham Stud in Devon for owner Carolyn Bates. He was the top sire of eventers for the 2011 season and is the fifth top eventing sire of all time.

Having won the Land Rover Burghley Horse trials, British bred Avebury now has 1,341 British Eventing points and provided Nicholson with his first 4* win for 12 years.

Breeders’ Awards Dinner Chairman Desi Dillingham said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this prize. British breeders are really beginning to reap the rewards for the talented horses they are consistently breeding”.

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