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Nicholson just misses sixth Burghley crown

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/09/2016

Andrew Nicholson © Getty Images Andrew Nicholson A host of accomplished New Zealand eventers have been shut out of top spot at the Burghley Horse Trials by Australian Chris Burton.

Seven of the top 13 positions were filled by Kiwis but not the most sought-after one as Burton clung on to win the final four-star event of the year in Lincolnshire.

In a dramatic finish, five-time winner Andrew Nicholson was denied a sixth Burghley title, instead settling for runner-up on Nereo.

Nicholson picked up six penalties in his showjumping ride, leaving overnight leader Burton the freedom of knowing he would win as long as he knocked down less than five fences on Nobilis 18.

He went close to doing so, felling four on the testing circuit to win on 49.4 total penalty points to Nicholson's 53.2.

Jonelle Price (54.1) and her husband Tim (56.9) - both members of the fourth-placed New Zealand team at the Rio Olympics - were third and fourth respectively. It marked a fine fightback from Jonelle Price, who was 22nd on Classic Moet after the dressage but produced the best cross country ride of anyone and knocked down just one showjumping fence.

The other well-placed Kiwis were Caroline Powell (eighth), Sir Mark Todd (ninth), Blyth Tait (11th) and Dan Jocelyn (13th).

Burton, a member of Australia's bronze-medal winning team at Rio, is the first Burghley winner from his country in a decade and picks up prizemoney of STG63,000 ($NZ115,000).

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