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History was made at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this afternoon when Andrew Nicholson and Avebury won their third consecutive Land Rover Burghley title. The New Zealand rider and Mark and Rosemary Barlow’s gallant grey had two fences in hand going into the final phase, but although they rubbed a few fences on the way round, the poles all stayed in their cups and the pair clocked up just 2 time penalties to finish on a score of 48.1. Of his unique feat, Andrew said: “He [Avebury] has been in the right place at the right time. He’s always been a winner and horses that are consistently winning have a chance to do what he’s done. This means an awful lot.” Jonathan (Jock) Paget and Frances Stead and Russell Hall’s Clifton Promise rose up from fourth to second courtesy of a foot-perfect trip over the coloured poles. “You draw your confidence from the horse you’re sitting on and in the warm-up he was giving me a really good feeling,” said Jock. “Had he been booting the fences down outside you might have seen me with a different expression on my face.” In a clean sweep for the Antipodeans, Australia’s Sam Griffiths and Happy Times finished third. Their two rails down dropped them down from second, but Sam was nevertheless pleased with his own, Steve and Dinah Posford and Juliet Donald’s 15-year-old gelding. “I was desperate to jump a clear round and put the pressure on Andrew, but this phase is his Achilles heel, so I can’t be too disappointed. To come third at Land Rover Burghley is an immense thrill,” said Sam. William Fox-Pitt was the best placed British rider, jumping clear with Catherine Witt’s Bay My Hero to take fourth, while Gemma Tattersall clocked up her best four-star result to date, finishing fifth with Arctic Soul. Oliver Townend and Armada, lying third overnight, dropped to eighth after lowering four fences, which put them behind sixth-placed Bill Levett (AUS) and Improvise, and Izzy Taylor (KBIS Briarlands Matilda), seventh.
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