The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2017 was undoubtedly one of the greats!
With a stellar field of international riders including previous winners Michael Jung (GER), Oliver Townend (GBR), Sir Mark Todd (NZL), Paul Tapner (AUS) and Andrew Hoy (AUS) not to mention the likes of Ingrid Klimke (GER), Chris Burton (AUS) and Tim Price (AUS) the home riders were going to have their work cut out, especially as British flag bearers William Fox-Pitt and Pippa Funnell were missing.
The dressage scores were dominated by the overseas riders with Christopher Burton leading the way but this Badminton was all about Eric Winter's inaugural Badminton cross country course. It walked a strong course and that's the way it rode. However as with every good course the cream rose to the top with Ingrid klimke and Horseware Hale Bob finishing the equivalent of 1 second ahead of Micheal Jung and La Biosthetique Sam who was 1 second ahead of Andrew Nicholson and the evergreen Nereo. Nicholson even admitted afterwards he did not want to lead going into the showjumping so to finish as he did was an amazing piece of timing and the rounds of the two above him were also pure class. All 3 of these rounds can be seen in full along with the top 3 dressage tests.
If Saturday was exciting then Sunday was pure theatre. Nicholson slayed his Badminton showjumping jinx with a gutsy clear round while contrary to all the pundits neither Jung or Klimke could leave all the poles standing. Finally at the age of 55, after completing Badminton 37 times Andrew Nicholson won the tile he so richly deserved.
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