MARLBOROUGH eventer Andrew Nicholson did not get the result he wanted at the 2017 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, but paid tribute to his horse Nereo after achieving yet another top-10 finish.

The 56-year-old scored ten penalty points in the show jumping, the final event, to finish eighth atop his 17-year-old gelding.

Nicholson has won the prestigious four-star event in Lincolnshire five times, but it was not to be on this occasion in a weekend dominated by British riders.

The top four were all Brits, but for New Zealander Nicholson the world-famous trials were another chance for his horse to stamp its name in the history books.

“If my children’s calculations are right, he should go away from here with 3,000 FEI points,” he said.

“If that’s right, I don’t think many international riders get 3,000 points in their career, let alone a horse so he is very special.

“For me, he’s the best horse in the world and what Nereo has done for me and New Zealand is incredible.”

Nicholson was Burghley champion three years running to 2014, but has not reclaimed the title since a fall resulted in a broken neck, which could have paralysed him.

But a mere two years later the father-of-four is still at the top of the sport and even qualified a second horse, Qwanza, for this year’s trials.

A much younger and less experienced horse, Qwanza was eliminated from the competition on Saturday after a fall on the world-famous cross-country course as the mare made her Burghley debut.

Nicholson could not add a sixth Burghley title to his accolades, but the desire to compete still burns as strong as ever.

“If you don’t have the highs and lows of competition, you don’t get a buzz out of it and coming to Burghley - it’s the top four star in the world,” he said.

“Though we love winning, we love the competition too.”

Oliver Townend claimed the second Burghley title of his eventing career as British riders dominated a thrilling final day's action in Lincolnshire.

The Shropshire-based Yorkshireman became a first British winner at Burghley since William Fox-Pitt six years ago as he guided 10-year-old Ballaghmor Class to victory and a £90,000 top prize.

Despite having one fence down and collecting a time fault, Townend did just enough to edge out Piggy French and Vanir Kamira after they jumped clear to pile pressure on Townend.

But the 34-year-old, who helped Great Britain to team gold at last month's European Championships in Poland, held his nerve and claimed a second Burghley triumph eight years after his first.

French finished 1.3 penalties behind Townend on 46.9, with reigning British Open and Event Riders Masters champion Gemma Tattersall taking third aboard Arctic Soul after they had a fence down, and Tom McEwen completing all four top places for British riders with Toledo De Kerser.

Bromham eventing prodigy Libby Seed was another debutante in Lincolnshire, the younger competitor in this year’s competition.

The 20-year-old came heartbreakingly close to completing the cross country, but was eliminated with just nine fences left to jump.

Seed and her steed What a Catch II can still hold their heads high though, as the course also claimed top riders like Zara Tindall and Sir Mark Todd.

The multi-award winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials from August 31 – September 3 has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the Autumn Sporting Calendar for over 50 years. For more information visit