Equestrian: Nicholson set to lead NZ in Germany

By David Leggat

World No 1 Andrew Nicholson will lead New Zealand at the world equestrian festival in Aachen. Photo / Getty Images.
World No 1 Andrew Nicholson will lead New Zealand at the world equestrian festival in Aachen. Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand gets another chance to ram home their pre-eminence on the eventing stage in Germany starting on Friday night.

World No 1 Andrew Nicholson will lead New Zealand at the world equestrian festival in Aachen. The Nations Cup is part of the annual festival, an invitation-only event which encompasses, dressage, showjumping, driving and vaulting, as well as eventing.

Nicholson will ride Quimbo, the horse on which he won the Kentucky four-star event in April.

Badminton winner Jock Paget will ride Clifton Lush, Jonelle Richards has entered The Deputy and the team is rounded out by 2010 world championship team bronze medal winner Clarke Johnstone on Incognito, while Megan Heath will ride as an individual on St Daniel.

The event is a test run for the world championship and Olympic Games campaigns.

"This is the major annual team competition we target, and one where we use the same structure, routines and team culture we would practice at those pinnacle events," Equestrian Sport New Zealand high performance boss Sarah Harris said.

"While these riders may not necessarily be the ones who make the 2014 world equestrian championships in France, they are all members of our high performance squad."

Nicholson, Paget and Richards were in the bronze medal team at last year's London Olympics.

The best three scores from the four team riders will count in the three star event.
The other two Olympic team members, Mark Todd and Caroline Powell, are missing with horses unavailable for selection.

Teams from Australia, Belgium, Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, the United States and Sweden will line up.

Dressage and showjumping is on Friday with cross country, over a 35-obstacle journey, is on Saturday.

The winning eventing team at Aachen will pocket 16,000 ($27,000), with the top individual heading home with 31,000 ($52,000).

- NZ Herald

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