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Nicholson third at Badminton Horse Trials

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/05/2017

Andrew Nicholson is within range of his first Badminton Horse Trials title while fellow-Kiwi veteran sir Mark Todd has an outside shot at a fifth.

The cross-country phase on Saturday shuffled the field, with Nicholson improving from fifth to third place overall on Nereo.

They jumped clear but accrued 2.4 time penalties to trail two big-name German rivals heading into the showjumping.

Ingrid Klimke leads on Horseware Hale Bob Old on 39.6 penalties, while Olympic champion Michael Jung (La Biosthetique Sam FBW) is second on 40.0.

Nicholson (40.4 penalties) holds a handy buffer back to two other Kiwis - Tim Price (48.2 on Xavier Faer) and Todd (50.4 on NZB Campino).

Four-time winner Todd would have been challenging for the lead if he hadn't accrued a costly 6.8 penalty points.

He must rely on others to struggle if he is to add to his legacy at the famed four-star event in England.

New Zealand boast five combinations in the top-15.

Todd's other mount, Leonidas II, is ninth while Nicholson holds down 15th on Qwanza.

Overnight leader Christopher Burton of Australia plunged to 19th after struggling around the challenging cross country course.

Thirty-two combinations were either eliminated or retired on the long journey, leaving 49 horses to contest the showjumping.

Among those forced to retire were Kiwis Jesse Campbell (Kaapachino) and Blyth Tait (Bear Necessity V).

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