Paget, Nicholson still in Badminton contention

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 07:57 06/05/2013
Andrew Nicholson
Reuters
CLOSE CALL: Andrew Nicholson missed out on the Badminton title and an eventing 'grand slam' by half a penalty point.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

AFL racism: Mother of girl who called Adam Goodes an 'ape' says he's to blame for booing Chris Froome ponders rare Tour de France-Vuelta double Maddison Keeney: Unfortunate stumble for New Zealand-born diver Arizona Cardinals hailed for hiring NFL's first female coach Bowie Tupou fighting for career against Joseph Parker, says trainer Jeff Fenech Southern Stampede secure home ice advantage as race for Birgel Cup heats up New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia cops 162-game drug ban for second offence Adam Goodes contemplating AFL retirement as booing controversy continues German capital Berlin hosting 'Jewish Olympics' in stadium Adolf Hitler built Charlotte Webby 45th in open water swim world championships 10km event

Clear cross-country rounds from Jock Paget and Andrew Nicholson have kept the New Zealanders in contention at the Badminton Horse Trials but they will require something extraordinary if they're to triumph tomorrow - German Michael Jung and his crack three-day eventing horse Sam to slip up.

Paget and his top horse Clifton Promise are second and Nicholson and his top mount Nereo fourth heading into the final showjumping phase tomorrow, but world, Olympic and European champion Jung is the man they are chasing and the 30-year-old is not known for letting a winning position go.

Jung also went clear in today's cross-country, leaving him on his dressage score of 36 penalties. Paget is on 39.7 with Nicholson on 40.2. Nicholson's rival for the 'grand slam', Britain's William Fox-Pitt, is third on his New Zealand-bred horse Parklane Hawk, with 40 points, having also gone clear in the cross-country.

If Jung and Sam go clear in the showjumping the title is his and Nicholson and Fox-Pitt, both gunning for the 'grand slam', can kiss goodbye to the $410,000 bonus.

If the German knocks down one rail, which is worth four penalty points, it brings Paget and Fox-Pitt into play. But with Nicholson 4.2 points behind, he requires Jung to drop two rails, Paget and Fox-Pitt one each, while going clear himself, although that is not factoring in potential time penalties.

The biggest hurdle is going to be Jung, who has been on Sam for each of his world, Olympic and European titles. A slip up from the world No 3 seems highly unlikely but is certainly not out of the question in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the showjumping arena at the biggest four-star event in the world.

Nicholson needs to win Badminton in his quest to take out the $US350,000 Grand Slam after winning last year’s Burghley and last week’s Kentucky events. Fox-Pitt is also still in the hunt due to last year’s Badminton cancellation, seeing his 2011 Burghley and 2012 Kentucky wins being carried over. The grand slam bonus goes to any rider who can win the three big four-star events in succession.

Meanwhile, Nicholson also went clear on his second horse, Avebury, to move up to eighth after the cross-country, while Paget and Clifton Lush are 14th after a clear round.

Caroline Powell had clear rounds on Onwards and Upwards and Boston Two Tip to climb to 30th and 36th, respectively, while Lucy Jackson, Megan Heath and Sir Mark Todd on his two horses are all in the second half of the field.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content