He’s baaaack! – Andrew Nicholson has been riding for the last week

Andrew Nicholson.

Great news for the eventing world…

Andrew Nicholson has made great strides in his recovery, revealing to the  New Zealand Herald that he and has been back riding for a week. He is setting Badminton as his first goal of 2016 and the the Rio Olympics are not high on his priority list. Andrew’s 2015 competition plans came to a screeching halt in August, after suffering a very serious neck injury as a result of a fall with Cillnabradden Evo at the final fence on cross country in the CIC3* at the Festival of British Eventing.

He spoke in detail about his injury and surgery in this radio interview in August. He sat down with Jonty Evans in November to let everyone know how we was progressing. Fortunately, Nicholson fans from all across the world can breath a sigh of relief that his return to the saddle seems to be going well.

“It feels very comfortable riding now, it doesn’t hurt anywhere and doesn’t really feel like I had much of a break,” Andrew told the Herald. “To be honest the Olympics aren’t at the top of my list at the moment, it’s just about getting back to fitness and then deciding if I want to compete.”

Andrew has been left off of the Equestrian Sport New Zealand’s (ESNZ) 2016 high performance squad for now, due to an ongoing dispute that started after the 2014 World Equestrian Games.  “I don’t want to be competing just to make the numbers, I only want to do it if I can pick up where I left off. I guess the problems I’ve had with Equestrian NZ have put me off a little bit as well,” Andrew told the Herald. “But I would be happy to go along if it was to my way of thinking but I won’t just go to keep ENZ happy. It would have to be on my terms.”

ESNZ may be begging Andrew to ride on their team if he manages to execute his spring plan. Andrew also told the Herald, “I want to go to compete in Badminton and win Badminton in May but it’s no good just talking about it, you’ve got to be in the right frame of mind and be very clear in the mind about what you’re doing and why you’re doing things and I won’t know that till I get a little further down the line.”

Despite Andrew’s 2016 season being cut short, he still managed to finish 2nd in the British Eventing Rankings and 23rd in the FEI Rankings. Andrew is indeed a living legend and one of the best eventers to grace the planet. Eventing Connect is cheering him on to a first place finish at next year’s Badminton!

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