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Nicholson withdraws from Badminton

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/05/2016

Concerns over his fitness have prompted New Zealand equestrian great Andrew Nicholson to withdraw from the Badminton horse trials.

The former world No.1, who suffered a serious neck injury in a fall in August, had been entered to ride Nereo at the four-star event this week.

"I have reluctantly decided to withdraw Nereo from Badminton - through no fault of his own. I have doubts over my own fitness and ability to do him full justice at this point," the 54-year-old said.

Nicholson said he felt fatigued after riding cross-country at an event on Sunday and said it would not be sensible to ride the demanding course at Badminton.

"I have every confidence my strength and fitness will continue to improve," he said.

The six-time Olympian fell heavily during a the cross country phase of a three-star event in Gatcombe in August and came close to paralysis, requiring an eight-hour operation to repair fractures and stabilise his spine.

He had targeted making the New Zealand team for the Rio Olympics.

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