Andrew Nicholson and Swallow Springs Sitting Pretty in 4th Place After XC Badminton 2019
Article sponsored by Le Jabot and Stock Company
Main Image by Lucy Hall Photography – all rights reserved and are subject to copyright
Heading out on the cross country course Andrew has had 73 five star runs since 2008 and averages 1.8 time penalties when he goes clear so it was no surprise to see him add another 5 star run to his accolade.
This was Swallow Springs second ever 5 star event after finishing 3rd at Burghley.
Andrew Certainly set off with purpose out of that start box and was not hanging around. As Expected Andrew used every bit of his experience and they jumped the Joules Corners at 7 and 8 just text book like. There was a lovely expression on the horses face coming into fence 10a/b the Shogun Sport Hollow. Fence 13 the Outlander PHEV Bank was a little heart stopping for those looking on but Andrew used all his experience and they were safely through. The Mirage Water at 17/18 was a fence Andrew talked about yesterday about having to ride what was under you but he jumped it very fluently which what makes him such a pure joy to watch.
Swallow Springs and Andrew Nicholson were just bowling along at the Badminton lake and it was again textbook riding he really does make the fences look so easy! To see the horse full of running at the end of the course was just lovely to see and in true Andrew style he was clear in the time, intact 1 second inside the time! with only five riders going inside the time all day!! This is just what makes him a true master of the sport.
We caught up with Andrew after the cross country to see what he had to say about the course and his ride:
You have just finished inside the time with Swallow Springs, He looked great, how did he ride?
He felt very very good. I can only compare with Burghley last year, Burghley I thought was bigger than this, but smoother, he felt much easier round Burghley. Here it felt like I had to work a lot more, like I thought walking it.
Eric wants you as a rider to sit down and work sometimes, like the corner ditch corner (fence 17/18 Mirage Water). I felt like I was working a lot. Then the next one the brush down the dip and turn on to the other brush ( Fence 19 Nyetimber Heights) . This is what it is all about we don’t want course designers doing all the same thing. We want them to be a bit different it makes it more interesting.
You have to put to your horse a bit don’t you?
Yeah, like you seen at the Outlander PHEV Bank, I did two strides but I was a long way off the brush, because I came to the bank and I didn’t have the best stride and I waited so he could have done three up there if I had wanted even though it is a short two. That is what he is like.
He can play with them can’t he?
Yes for a little horse he can produce a lot of scope. Its good to have.
One second under the time and he came back ears pricked and full of running
He is a very good galloper and has a very good engine he doesn’t pull, he is a pleasure to ride. He can be a little bit clever in the way you think he is perhaps going top speed and then he will shy at something so you give him a kick and and it’s like turbo charge, so he paces himself which is a good thing at these long courses.
You must be pleased, are you looking forward to tomorrow
Very pleased, If i can’t jump a round in 4th place I am not going to jump one in 1st place so yeah looking forward to tomorrow