NZ’s John Nicholson to mentor new course designer in US

Virginia Horse Trials' Course Designer John Nicholson.
Virginia Horse Trials’ Course Designer John Nicholson. © Virginia Horse Trial

A budding course designer will work alongside renowned New Zealand cross-country designer John Nicholson at the Virginia Horse Trials, in a new mentoring scheme aimed to encourage the future development of eventing. 

Nicholson was appointed FEI Course Designer for the Virginia Horse Trials in June 2015 for an initial two-year term.

Virginia Horse Trials runs two major events each year which offer divisions for Beginner Novice through Intermediate levels, as well as CCI1* and CCI2* FEI competitions. These Events run over two separate cross-country courses.

The event also conducts Intercollegiate and Young Rider Team competitions in the spring and Adult Team Challenges in the fall, which brings a large diversity of riders to the countryside in Lexington, Virginia.

An independent panel has interviewed applicants for the role and the appointment will be announced at the end of the month.

The candidate will take over announce the Horse Center cross-country course which caters to Beginner Novice through Preliminary competitors, under Nicholson’s mentorship.

Nicholson, whose brother Andrew is a leading eventing rider based in England, is a popular international designer who has organised courses around the world including New Zealand’s National 3-Day Event Championships, the Horse of the Year show, the 2014 Asian Games, and at his home course at Kihikihi. Last year he was also the course director for the FEI International Course Designers Seminar in Ireland.

The new designer will be expected to be on site for 10-14 days before the events, working alongside Nicholson and the builders preparing the tracks and learning during the process.

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