Burghley Horse Trials: Andrew Nicholson wins third title in a row

Andrew Nicholson on Avebury
Andrew Nicholson has now won Burghley five times, as well as competing at six Olympic Games for New Zealand.

New Zealander Andrew Nicholson made history at the Burghley Horse Trials by completing a hat-trick of titles.

Nicholson won the three-day event for a third straight year aboard British-owned 14-year-old Avebury.

The combination's score of 48.1 penalties left them well clear of runner-up Jonathan Paget, also from New Zealand, aboard Clifton Promise.

Australian Sam Griffiths was third on Happy Times with Britain's William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero fourth.

"It is an amazing feeling," said Nicholson, 53, who collected just two showjumping faults on the final day to close out victory and claim the £62,000 first prize.

Burghley three-day event results
Andrew Nicholson (NZ)48.1
Jonathan Paget (NZ)55.2
Sam Griffiths (AUS)57.8
William Fox-Pitt (GB)60.3
Gemma Tattersall (GB)64.2
Bill Levett (AUS)65.9

"But it is such a team effort. When you have a horse that wins something like this three years in a row, it's not just me. I have got the luxury to be able to ride him.

"It's three phases (dressage, cross-country and showjumping), and I know he is good in all three. I have got to do my job, and he will do his."

Yorkshireman Oliver Townend saw his hopes of a second Burghley title in five years disappear after four fences down on Armada dropped him from third to eighth.

World number one Fox-Pitt, 45, finished top of the FEI Classics Series for points scored in eventing's six four-star competitions for the fourth time in his career, with Griffiths second and Townend, 31, third.

William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero
William Fox-Pitt was unable to win a seventh Burghley title but did win the season-long FEI Classics Series aboard Bay My Hero