Equestrianism: Nicholson hits habitual form aboard Killinghurst

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The Independent Online

Andrew Nicholson and his long-time partner, Lord Killinghurst, made another good start to a four-star event when holding the lead after yesterday's first day of dressage at the Burghley Horse Trials. The New Zealander is 1.8 penalties ahead of Britain's William Fox-Pitt on Parkmore Ed, with another Kiwi, Caroline Powell on Lenamore, 0.8 of a penalty further back in third place.

Lord Killinghurst has a remarkable record at this level, having been third here in 2003 and 2005 as well as second, fourth and fifth at Badminton. The 16-year-old gelding will not be winning out of turn if he stays ahead until the end of Sunday's show jumping.

Fox-Pitt rides Parkmore Ed when the horse's owner, Philip Adkins, does not partner the 14-year-old himself. This must make it difficult to establish a sound partnership and the rider is not quite sure what to expect when the horse tackles his first four-star cross-country course tomorrow.

Fox-Pitt is also riding the 2005 Burghley winner Ballincoola, who will do his dressage test today. Zara Phillips, the reigning world and European champion, will also be in action today on Ardfield Magic Star.