BRAMHAM winner Andrew Nicholson believes Oliver Townend performed “incredibly” to finish a Bramham third on a horse he has ridden for just ten months.
Eleven-year old MHS King Joules has now had four different riders with Nicholson having competed on the gelding from July 2014 until July last year. MHS King Joules had previously been ridden by Mary King, and before that Mary’s daughter Emily and initially Duarte Seabra with whom the horse began his career in 2010.
Jet Set IV, meanwhile, on whom Nicholson won last weekend’s Bramham CCI three-star, has been with the New Zealand rider from the start in 2013 and Nicholson believes there is therefore more to Townend’s achievement than meets the eye.
Nicholson explained: “I think when you have had horses from the beginning like Jet Setter and Teseo who I have had from the beginning, I know them very well and I know how they are going to react.
“When you get a horse like King Joules which has had a few different riders and all sorts of ways of going it’s not easy to go not just into the show jumping but dressage and the cross country. Think what Oliver has done on King Joules has been quite incredible.
“It’s quite something to have that horse in the lead but it’s much harder on a horse you have not had from the beginning.”
Nicholson has now won Bramham’s CCI three-star event three times and compares the atmosphere of the Yorkshire event to the country’s only two CCI four-stars.
“It’s a beautiful place here,” said Nicholson. “It’s always a pleasure to come here and compete here and it’s a shame it hasn’t got massive prize-money.
“It’s one of the best places there is and for an international event you always feel like you get a good crowd, especially when it’s sunny.
“And I always get the feeling competing here that they want to be entertained. The people are knowledgeable enough about the sport and they want to be entertained. That’s what they come here for and I think it’s a great place for that with the lovely rolling country-side.
“It always feels like Badminton or Burghley because you feel very close to the people.
“There’s probably not as many numbers as what I think there is out there but it always feels like it’s a good atmosphere and they feel like they are knowledgeable. I’ll keep coming back.”