Andrew Nicholson withdraws from ESNZ High Performance Squad

Andrew Nicholson Nereo

      Andrew Nicholson and Nereo at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy


Andrew Nicholson has withdrawn from the Equestrian Sport New Zealand High Performance Squad for 2015 until an ESNZ debriefing of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games has taken place and some of his concerns have been addressed.

Nicholson, one of the most successful and experienced of the New Zealand riders, told the NZ Herald on Sunday that he didn’t believe that his horse Nereo was provided with optimum care during the World Championships in Normandy, leading to ‘a robust discussion and an argument’

According to Nicholson this led to two members of the management team, Sarah Harris and Erik Duvander, signing a complaint against him.

"We had subsequent discussions where I said, 'I can't believe how you're treating me. I'm removing myself from the [2015] high performance squad'. They subsequently withdrew their complaint and I wasn't asked to apologise."

In a statement on the ESNZ website, High Performance Director Sarah Harris has responded by saying

“We have two formal processes under way at the moment – one a debrief about the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the other our annual performance review with High Performance Sport New Zealand.

 Once that review and debrief are complete, we will look closely at any feedback to ensure we continue to improve all of our programmes.

 It is incorrect (in the HOS article) that a complaint was made to the world’s governing body’s judiciary committee. Any complaints would firstly be dealt with by ESNZ, but no official complaints were laid following WEG.

 The welfare of our horses and riders are of the highest priority to us and our riders. Andrew Nicholson is one of our most celebrated athletes at elite level.”

A governance review across the whole of ESNZ is currently under way with an interim chief executive, Vicki Glynn, having been appointed recently. High performance director Sarah Harris completes her contract at the end of November, and the process to find a replacement is underway