Great result at Saumur for Australia and New Zealand | An Eventful Life

Great result at Saumur for Australia and New Zealand


       Chris Burton and Haruzac - winners                                           Photo: Libby Law


Due to Clayton Fredericks' fall on the cross country course on Saturday, New Zealander Andrew Nicholson and his horse Viscount George had to wait for half hour in the rain on course.

 « It was finally not so bad because my horse could get back to a normal heart beat. When I started again, it was like if I was riding a fresh horse! » he said on Sunday.

When calculating his score, judges finally decided to subtract time penalties, giving him a XC time of 9'08''. So he was the only rider to finish inside the time allowed and put him up to the 2nd place just behind Chris Burton.

 « That did not mean more pressure for me. In such a case, I had to do the job, that's all » he said.

Chris Burton and Andrew Nicholson

      Winners are grinners - Chris Burton and Andrew Nicholson                               Photo: Libby Law


 And that's what he did, a clear round in the show jumping with only one time penalty point. Only 6 riders jumped clear the today...without the rain which thankfully stopped just at the beginning of the class! Nicolas Touzaint (FRA) has been the first to find the way through the course designed by Pierre Michelet (FRA) riding Princess Pilot, but Chris Burton had been the only top 10 rider to do the same with Haruzac, which meant at least a 2nd final place for him. Only Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on Viscount George could beat the young Aussie but 2 rails down threw his hopes away. Chris could make two faults and a little overtime. And he only used one chance – on the fence n°11b, a black and white double – to keep the 2nd place too with his top mount Holstein Park Leilani, owned by Jade and Jean Findlay.


Bill Levett and Paul Tapner

      A good weekend for Australia - Bill Levett and Paul Tapner                              Photo: Libby Law


Despite two rails with both of his horses, Bill Levett (AUS) remained in 5th (One Two Many NJ) and 6th places (Hippolyte)while Paul Tapner had three down on his two horses, Kilronan (13th ) and Wickstead Didgeridoo ( 14th). The riders were performing in front of Rob Hanna, Australian chef d’equipe for the Olympic Games, who had been watching their performances all weekend long.

For the New Zealand selectors, the other good news was that Mark Todd and NZB Grass Valley earned their qualification for the London Olympics with their seventh placing. Andrew Nicholson was also ninth aboard Quimbo with Caroline Powell 16th on Onwards and Upwards.

Saumur 2012 will remain a very good year for the Aussies, apart from Clayton Fredericks’ fall and injury. However the news is good from Clayton and everyone hopes he will recover early enough to be ready for a possible selection.


In the interview below, Chris Burton talks to Xavier Boudon his win at Saumur, the lucky shirt, plans for London 2012 and what may happen after


Andrew Nicholson explains why it was an advantage to be held up on course, his plans leading to London and what the New Zealand team chances are at London 2012 (good!!)



Thanks to our great team at Saumur this weekend, Libby Law and Xavier Boudon for battling the weather (and internet connection) to bring you coverage of this event. Libby now heads to Houghton Hall in the UK to cover next weekend's FEI Nations Cup event for An Eventful Life and Xavier will be uploading videos from the showjumping at Saumur as soon as he has had some sleep!

For more photos from this weekend at Saumur, visit our PHOTO GALLERY


CLICK HERE for final results