New Zealand six-time Olympian Andrew Nicholson (54) is based near Marlborough in Wiltshire and has lived in the UK for over thirty years. In 2014 with Badminton entry Nereo he was a member of the NZ team at the WEG and finished in 9th place. The same year, with Avebury – who was retired from competition in April – he won Burghley for a record third successive time and won the British National Championship at Gatcombe.
Last August (2015), whilst competing at Gatcombe, he suffered a fall at the final fence after which he was found to have sustained a serious neck injury and was lucky not to have been paralysed. He spent eight hours in surgery. He was back in the saddle in December.
In 2013 Andrew was the winner of the HSBC Classics series and was British number one for a record 16th time. He finished the 2015 season as number two in the BE rider rankings.
Considered the most prolific event rider ever, London 2012 was his sixth Olympic appearance (and seventh Olympic selection) where he won team bronze and finished in individual fourth place. In 1992 (Barcelona) he won Olympic team silver and in 1996 (Atlanta) team bronze. He won team gold at the 1990 WEG and in 2010 was a member of the NZ team that won bronze at the WEG in Lexington where he also won his first individual medal – bronze with Nereo. He has won Burghley five times, 1995, 2000 and 2012.’13&’14 (Avebury) and while he holds the record for the most Badminton completions (35) he has yet to win. In 2013 he won the Lexington four-star (Quimbo), the Luhmuhlen four-star (Mr Cruise Control) and was first, second and seventh at Burghley with Avebury, Nereo and Calico Jo respectively.
The third of six children Andrew was brought up on a dairy farm in Kihikihi, North Island. After school Andrew joined his brother who was retraining racehorses and rode for local racehorse trainers. He came to England in 1980 aged 19 and his first job was grooming for Mark Todd and Southern Comfort at Badminton (who then won). Within four-years Andrew had two Badminton horses and was selected for the NZ team at the 1984 Olympic Games.
Andrew is married to Wiggy (nee Channer) and the couple has two children Zach and Lily. He also has two older children from his former marriage.
Nereo, owned by Deborah Sellar, is a 16-year-old Spanish bred gelding. He was bred by former rider Ramon Beca and is by the thoroughbred Fines out of Berganza by the Hanoverian Golfi. Nereo is a full brother Badminton entries Armada (Oliver Townend) and Oplitas (Giovanni Uglotti) as well as Andrew’s former rides Fenicio and Homero. He was acquired as a four-year-old. He is the winner of the 2012 Pau CCI4* has been 3rd at Badminton (2013) and 2nd at Burghley (2011), was 4th individually London Olympics 2012. Nereo has over 2500 BE points.