13 Jul 2015

Nicholson and Avebury all class

2:07 pm on 13 July 2015

New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson and his horse Avebury have made eventing history with their fourth consecutive title at Barbury in the UK.

It is believed to be the first time in the history of eventing that a horse has won a class of this stature four times in succession.

Avebury jumps with Andrew Nicholson on board at Barbury

Avebury jumps with Andrew Nicholson on board at Barbury Photo: ESNZ/Libby Law

And there was a New Zealand trifecta, with Nicholson also second on Nereo and Sir Mark Todd third on Leonidas II.

Avebury never faltered on his way to victory, the 15-year-old finishing on his dressage score of 33.9 penalty points. The combination rode a perfect round to come home 12 seconds inside the optimum time.

For Nicholson and Avebury, who last year made history with their hat-trick of titles at the four star Burghley Horse Trials, it underlines their status as one of the world's most brilliant eventing partnerships ever.

"Avebury definitely knew where he was (today)," said Nicholson, who is ranked number five in the world. "He felt as if he really knew his way round and could have gone even faster. I was thrilled with Nereo as well, who felt great. It's a privilege to ride two horses like that."

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It was fitting that the horse who this year had a fence named after him at Barbury was the victor.

Nicholson bred Avebury, but sold him as a showjumper before he came back to the stable, and it was Nicholson's wife Wiggy who spied the four-star potential in the showy grey.

Tim Price rounded out a brilliant day for the New Zealanders with his fifth placing aboard Ringwood Sky Boy.