New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson has withdrawn from what was to be his return to four star eventing after a serious neck injury.

Nicholson has pulled out of this weekend's Badminton horse trials saying he's not quite ready for the demands of a four star event.

"I have doubts over my own fitness and ability to do him full justice at this point," he said.

"I successfully rode four horses in the advanced at Withington on Sunday, all of whom won prizes, but was aware I felt fatigued by the end of the seven-minute cross-country course. It would therefore not be sensible to attempt an 111/2-minute course at Badminton.

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"I have every confidence my strength and fitness will continue to improve and, with the full support of Nereo's owner Libby Sellar, we now plan to target Nereo towards significant events such as those in the exciting new Event Rider Masters series."

Nicholson was left nearly paralysed by a fall last August.