ANDREW Nicholson continued his Barbury Horse Trials brilliance with another victory in the event’s premier competition as Swallow Springs triumphed in the CCI 4* class.

It is the fifth time in eight years that Marlborough-based Nicholson has won the CCI 4* event at Barbury, having also tasted victory on board Avebury for four years in a row between 2012 and 2015.

In between those triumphs and his latest success, the New Zealander also finished on the top step of the podium in the elite Event Rider Masters category at Barbury in 2016.

Nicholson was nicely placed after the opening dressage phase after Swallow Springs posted a score of 29.4 as Mollie Summerland and Charly Van Ter Heiden set the early pace on 23.8.

A clear show jumping round saw Nicholson close the gap as Summerland picked up 4.0 time-penalty points before the 57-year-old overhauled his rival on the closing cross-country stage.

Swallow Springs’ 4.4 time-penalty points saw him finish on a score of 33.8 but Charly Van Ter Heiden then added a further 7.2 penalties to drop to a total of 35.0 and hand Nicholson another Barbury victory.

Alexander Bragg rounded off the podium on Hester with a score of 43.4, while there was another Wiltshire rider in the top 10 as Chippenham’s David Doel placed ninth on Shannondale Quest.

“It’s great to win and Swallow Springs performed really nicely,” said Nicholson.

“I fell off him here last year going a bit too quickly trying to win things, but he has come back.

“That’s just part of it. As long as you know why you fell off, you can fix it. It’s when you tip up and you don’t know why that’s tricky.

“I made a couple of mistakes in the dessage but he is good at dressage, so I knew if he made mistakes, other people would too.

“There is quite a bit of atmosphere in the dressage arena and it is always about the jumping here.

“The show jumping is always difficult and the cross-country is difficult because you have got an up-and-down terrain where you are trying to go fast.

“You know if you can do the jumping bit, you should be OK.”

It was a superb weekend for Nicholson overall as he also won the CCI 3* B section on As Is and finished fourth in the A section riding Andrea BT4.

There was also a victory for Nicholson in one of the many novice categories as Damaso finished on top in the Section F class.

Nicholson added: “It is always good to win here and the way the horses have gone this weekend has been very good. I’m very hopeful for the future with them.

“I love coming here. In the beginning, I liked supporting my local event, and I think what they are doing here is unbelievable – they’re raising the sport.

“It’s a lovely place to win so I try to bring nice young horses for the novice classes and nice horses for the star classes and try my best.

“It has been a very good weekend, so I am very pleased.”