Olympic medalist and multiple five-star winner Andrew Nicholson announced he’ll step down from the highest levels of eventing during the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (England) on Sept 19.
As a longstanding member of the New Zealand team, Nicholson won FEI World Equestrian Games team gold in 1990 (Sweden), and he also earned Olympic silver and bronze medals in his career, plus an individual bronze medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Kentucky). Nicholson has also won five of the world’s six CCI5*s, including the Land Rover Burghley (England) a record three times consecutively on Avebury and five times total. In 2017, he returned from a serious neck injury and won the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (England) on the 17-year-old Nereo, a horse he started as a 3-year-old.
The injury, sustained in a bad fall in 2015, has taken its toll, however.
“I’m stepping back from these five-stars and four-star big events like this one,” he said. “I’m still riding and competing; I’m not planning to retire completely and will still have novice horses with the idea of getting them to two- and three-star and selling them. But I have a lot of respect for the courses at the likes of Badminton and Burghley, and you’ve got to be fully up to speed, and I don’t feel quite like I used to, to be honest.
“I’ve been very lucky. I have ridden some amazing horses and competed with them all over the world,” he added. “I will still be at Badminton and Burghley, I just might not be leaving the start box.”
Nicholson, 60, will continue to produce horses from the Marlborough, Wiltshire, home he shares with wife Wiggy Nicholson and children Lily and Zach. He’ll also stay involved with coaching and training; he is chef d’equipe of the Swiss team at the FEI European Eventing Championships (Switzerland) next weekend.