The King of Barbury is back! Andrew Nicholson has this morning won his sixth crown in the CCI4*-S at the Barbury International Horse trials in the UK. The record-breaking Olympian has likened Swallow Springs – the horse he won on today – to the mighty Avebury, with whom he won four titles at Barbury.

“Swallow Springs has always been a very good horse but he likes to look about,” said Andrew. “You can be coming to a difficult fence and his mind is on the bar or getting an ice cream. Now though, he is very focused – he’s starting to feel like Avebury.”

Barbury is Andrew’s local event and one he likes to support. “I love coming here,” he says.

Eleven-year-old grey Swallow Springs has been competing at Barbury since 2015 and tackling the top class at the event since 2017 when he placed second. This year the Irish-bred horse – who is by Chillout out of Kilila (by Cult Hero) – had his first start at CCI5*-L level, placing fifth at Badminton. He is a horse Andrew has very high hopes for.

Today they added 4.4 time penalties in the cross country to finish on 33.8 with Mollie Summerland and Charly van ter Heiden second on 35 and Alexander Bragg aboard Hester third on 43.4. Fastest cross country run of the day went to Zara Tindall and Watkins who flew up the leaderboard after adding just two time penalties to finish on 45.5 in fourth place.

Jesse Campbell and I Spye were the only other Kiwis still in the class, finishing in 17th place on 61.4 after picking up penalties in both the showjumping and cross country. None of the 47 combinations who completed all three tests were clear and inside time over the Alec Lochore-designed track. Twelve combinations retired on course with nine eliminated and 11 withdrawing before the final phase.

Jesse had a good run in both the novice Sunday classes, winning on Sportsfield Global Warrior in section L and placing second aboard Global Candy Boy in section K.


The horse details:
I Spye – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
Swallow Springs – owned by Paul and Diana Ridgeon
Sportsfield Global Warrior – owned by Rosie Fry
Global Candy Boy – Fiona and Jesssica Acheson

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ