Andrew Nicholson and Avebury Win Barbury International CIC3*

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury on their way to the CIC3* at Barbury in 2014. Photo courtesy of Trevor Meeks/Barbury press office. Andrew Nicholson and Avebury on their way to the CIC3* at Barbury in 2014. Photo courtesy of Trevor Meeks/Barbury press office.

Andrew Nicholson and his longtime partner, Avebury, were in it to win it this weekend at Barbury International and did not disappoint. Andrew and Avebury completed their hat trick of wins at this event to pick up their third win in as many years in the CCI3* division.


Andrew set the bar in the dressage, earning a 34.8 to lead from the start, adding no faults in show jumping and 4.8 time across country to win on a 39.6, almost 10 points ahead of runners-up Francis Whittington and Easy Target. A portion of the handful of time penalties came from Andrew’s decision to take the option at the main water complex on cross country.

“It was quite a tricky fence, that narrow fence on an uphill slope, and I thought I would just give him a breather there,” explained Andrew in a press release. “But he felt pretty good. He’s a horse that seems to like going back to certain places. He was squealing and shying and jumping extravagantly in the warm-up. To win here three times in a row on a horse that was born round here and is named after a local landmark feels pretty good. Bring on Burghley!”

Francis Whittington was also pleased with his cross country run today. “I had an amazing ride,” said Francis in a Barbury press release. “The ground was good and the course was fun to ride. I now know I made the right decision at Badminton [to pull up] because he feels so well and happy.

Australia’s Paul Tapner and Yogi Bear VIII picked up third place, enjoying a nice move up from eighth place overnight. Paul referred to Yogi as a “CIC specialist” in an interview with the Barbury press office after completion of the event, so he is no doubt pleased and perhaps unsurprised to have a great finish after cross country.

The cross country was, as expected, influential, and the time was the deciding factor for most pairs on the cusp of a high placing. Out of 81 total finishers, only two pairs put in double clear rounds: Paul Tapner and Yogi Bear VIII and Beanie Sturgis with Lebowski, who moved up from 71st place overnight to 17th overall.

We agree!

We agree!

Sitting in second place, Mark Todd and Leonidas II picked up 11.2 time to move them down into ninth place overall. Some of the fastest times of the day were rewarded with leaps up the leaderboard, with six of the final top 10 moving up from 13th or lower after cross country.

10 pairs were eliminated on cross country, 7 retired on course, and 10 were withdrawn prior to competition today. I followed along with the live updates on both the Barbury Castle and Samantha Clark Twitter accounts, and it seems that there were problems scattered about the course and gutsy riding across the board. While a few pairs suffered falls, I did not see any injuries reported, which is always a relief.

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