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Fifth straight Barbury title for Nicholson

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/07/2016

It was a different horse but the same result for New Zealand eventer Andrew Nicholson who has won a fifth successive title at the Barbury International in England.

Nicholson continued his love affair with the three-star event near Swindon by riding veteran mount Nereo to victory, finishing clear of the field on 39.6 penalty points.

The 54-year-old had won each of the last four years on his Olympic mount Avebury, who was retired this year.

Nereo, who Nicholson also rode to second last year, positioned the English-based rider third after the dressage phase and they hit the front after accruing just two penalty points in the showjumping.

A clear cross-country ride on Sunday left him 4.6 points ahead of Australian Paul Tapner, with Briton Gemma Tattersall third.

"Nereo now adapts himself to whatever he needs to do," Nicholson said.

"It felt like it was far too easy but I am sure it's not ... Nereo didn't make it feel slippery or twisty at all."

Three-time Olympic medallist Nicholson wasn't considered for his eighth Games as he has only recently returned to top-flight competition. He suffered a serious neck injury after a fall during a competition last August.

Meanwhile, Rio-bound Jonelle Price was the next-best Kiwi at Barbury Castle, placing eighth on Classic Moet.

Jesse Campbell was ninth on Cleveland and Sir Mark Todd 26th on Leonidas II.

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