Equestrian: Nicholson edges Zara Phillips to win again

Andrew Nicholson celebrates winning the Luhmuhlen CCI4 in Germany. Libby Law/ESNZ
Andrew Nicholson celebrates winning the Luhmuhlen CCI4 in Germany. Libby Law/ESNZ

Andrew Nicholson is again the toast of the eventing world with victory at the top-ranking Luhmuhlen CCI4 in Germany this morning.

Aboard Mr Cruise Control, the world number one rider notched a perfect clear round to take victory ahead of Great Britain's Zara Phillips on High Kingdom who was just 1.7 penalty points behind.

Nicholson and the big grey were third after the dressage, hitting the front of a talent-stacked leaderboard after a faultless cross country round that caused plenty of headaches for many.

Nicholson himself took a dunking from Qwanza at the water. However, he was also hoof perfect aboard his third horse Rathmoyle King in the cross country, dropping two rails in the showjumping to finish in sixth place.

His Olympic team-mate Jonelle Richards and Flintstar finished eighth on 59.5.

Jonathan Paget withdrew Bullet Proof before the cross country after the horse seemed a little sore.

Just 32 of the 50-strong field finished all three disciplines.

Nicholson's win - on the back of his victories in four star events at Burghley, Pau and Kentucky firmly reinforce his top ranking and strangle-hold of the HSBC FEI Classics Series.

The winner of the classics will pocket $US150,000.

Results -
1 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Mr Cruise Control (owned by Nicola and Robin Salmon and Nicholson) 38
2 Zara Phillips (GBR) High Kingdom 39.7
3 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Neuf des Coeurs 47.7
4 William Fox Pitt (GBR) Lionheart 48.2
5 Kevin McNab (AUS) Clifton Pinot 51.5
6 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Rathmoyle King (owned by Gillian Morris-Adams, Carolyn Taylor and Carolyne Ryan-Bell) 56
8 Jonelle Richards (NZL) Flintstar (owned by Darnelle Hubbard, Tim Price and Mrs Grey) 59.5

Jonathan Paget (NZL) Bullet Proof (owned by Joseph and Alexander Giannamore) withdrawn before cross country, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Rathmoyle King (owned by Gillian Morris-Adams, Carolyn Taylor and Carolyne Ryan-Bell) 48 14, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Qwanza (owned by Rosemary and Mark Barlow) eliminated in cross country.

- APNZ

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