9 May 2015

Nicholson still leads at Badminton

10:17 am on 9 May 2015

Veteran New Zealand equestrian Andrew Nicholson remains on course for his first victory at the Badminton Horse Trials.

Nicholson and Nereo hold a slim 1.2 penalty point lead after the dressage phase, ahead of long-time British rival William Fox-Pitt, aboard Chilli Morning.

New Zealand equestrian Andrew Nicholson wins his third straight Burghley title in 2014.

New Zealand equestrian Andrew Nicholson wins his third straight Burghley title in 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Another local, Oliver Townend on Nicholson's old campaigner Armada - a full brother to Nereo - is another 1.8 penalties back, and German rider Ingrid Klimke on Horseware Hale Bob is chasing her country's first Badminton win in fourth, 2.4 back.

Another New Zealander, Jock Paget, has two mounts in the top 10, with Clifton Lush and Clifton Promise in fifth and sixth respectively.

Jock Paget on Clifton Promise at the Badminton Horse Trials in May last year.

Jock Paget on Clifton Promise at the Badminton Horse Trials in May last year. Photo: AFP

Nicholson and his own Calico Joe sit in 12th place on 43.5, just 5.7 penalties adrift of Nereo's 37.8 score.

Nicholson, who has never won Badminton, says he didn't expect to still be on top but he's determined to push on.

"I am a little bit surprised to still be in the lead, but Nereo felt very smart in there, so I knew that if I was to be overtaken they wouldn't be very far in front," says Nicholson.

"I know what I have to do... I want to win it. I will be riding like I normally ride."

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