Equestrian: Nicola Wilson scoops one-two at Allerton Park horse trials

Nicola Wilson clears a fence at the Allerton Park horse trials (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
Nicola Wilson clears a fence at the Allerton Park horse trials (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

North Yorkshire rider Nicola Wilson made up for her anguish 12 months ago with a one-two at Allerton Park Horse Trials on Sunday.

Wilson had narrowly missed out on victory at the event last year in her Olympic horse Opposition Buzz’s final competition before retirement.

But a determined performance from the 38-year-old this time around left her eventing rivals in her shadows.

Wilson and nine-year-old Bulana took the first place rosette with a total of 47.4 penalties, finishing just 0.2 ahead of stablemate Watermill Vision.

“To have them finish with 0.2 of a difference was quite funny, you couldn’t really put a piece of paper between them,” said Wilson.

Wilson guided Bulana and Watermill Vision to clear rounds in the show-jumping after both had impressed in the morning dressage, leading with 28.6 and 28.8 penalty points respectively.

The Olympic medallist clocked up exactly 18.8 time penalties on both of her horse on the cross country course but it was enough to pip Bella Innes Ker and Rosses Captain (49) into third.

Grimsby’s Sophie Brown (54.3) came fourth on board Wil, with Wilson’s third horse Kiltealy Brief collecting fifth place on 54.4 points.

Wilson, who has reached a career-high world ranking of eight, said: “They felt so professional and confident in what they were doing.

“It’s always an absolute pleasure when you can ride horses like that.

“They both did lovely, solid, accurate tests and nothing really went wrong.

“Both are quality horses and we just have to keep working away at getting some good results with them.”

Harrogate rider Hazel Towers placed 10th in Sunday’s advanced competition with her promising eight-year-old Simply Smart.

After a strong dressage score of 37.3, the pair knocked down two fences in the showjumping before accruing 20.4 time penalty points in the cross country.

“It was a good day, but it should have been better if she hadn’t have been so keen in the showjumping,” an overjoyed Towers said.

“She’s a bit of a girl and likes to do it her own way. She doesn’t understand that she can’t go as fast as she wants.

“But for her to get placed in the advanced at only eight, shows there’s a lot to be excited about for the future.”