14 May 2015

Nicholson struggles, Paget third at Badminton

12:23 pm on 14 May 2015

The New Zealand equestrian Andrew Nicholson was unable to maintain his lead in the showjumping at the Badminton Horse Trials, knocking over several rails to watch the title slip through his fingers.

Jock Paget

Jock Paget Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The top New Zealand eventer entered the final day in the lead but ended up sixth aboard Nereo after picking up 12 jumping penalties.

Jock Paget was the highest-placed New Zealander in third, with compatriot Sir Mark Todd fourth.

Britain's William Fox-Pitt won the title.

Paget was thrilled with the efforts of his mount Clifton Lush.

"He's a great little horse who hasn't really had a chance to shine at the four stars, so it is good for him to get up on the podium today," said Paget, who last won the event in 2013.

"He felt a bit tired in the warm-up and I wasn't sure how he was going to go in the ring. In the end we didn't give him any fences in the warm-up, just kept him fresh and took him in trusting he is a professional, knows his job and will try for us in there. He did just that."

Paget felt the horse was a little unlucky to take the single rail.

He did try to jump it but just nicked it on the way down. That happens... it is the sport."

In a pressure-cooker finish, a clear round was needed by each of the top four to take the title.