EQUESTRIAN: Nicholson grabs Gatcombe prize

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury

First published in Sport

MARLBOROUGH-BASED New Zealander Andrew Nicholson added another title to his collection with the prolific Avebury as he took British Open glory at Gatcombe's Festival of British Eventing.

The reigning Burghley and Barbury champions struck again to win by 1.5 penalties from Sussex-based Francis Whittington and Easy Target, with Louise Harwood and Whitson third.

"He is a very economical jumper who doesn't waste any time over the fences. He felt very comfortable round here," Nicholson said.

Whittington collected 4.4 cross-country time faults, although he had the considerable consolation of becoming national champion.

"I am delighted with him (Easy Target), but I'm cross with myself for wasting time in a couple of places," Whittington said.

Britain's world number one William Fox-Pitt ended the weekend with two titles - British novice and British intermediate.

Fox-Pitt followed up Saturday's victory with Top Biats in the novice section by guiding Luxury FH home at intermediate level, finishing ahead of Ian Wills (Say I Do), Mildenhall-based New Zealander Tim Price (Bango) and Oliver Townend (Shearwater Touchingwood).

Fox-Pitt did not run his World Equestrian Games-bound Chilli Morning, while Great Britain teammates Townend and Zara Phillips only did dressage tests with Black Tie II and High Kingdom, respectively, as the world championship countdown gathers pace.

"He (Chilli Morning) is in very good order," Fox-Pitt said.

"His performance in Aachen (last month) wasn't a world-beating one, but it was really useful preparation. I was never going to run him at Gatcombe after he went there."

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND WILTSHIRE TIMES

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