Oliver Townend will ride four-star event horse Armada this season. Andrew Nicholson, who has produced the 13-year-old throughout his career, recommended to owner Paul Ridgeon that the ride should pass to Oliver because he could not guarantee the horse a Badminton run.
“Armada is a ‘true four-star horse’ who has already completed seven four-star events in his career and really should go to Badminton,” said Andrew. “I just can’t guarantee I can ride him there because of my other horses. If anyone can develop a good partnership with him, it is Oliver. It is in all our interests that he goes well.”
With Andrew, Armada’s best four-star results include eighth at Burghley 2008 and 10th at Luhmühlen 2010 and 2011. The chestnut is undoubtedly one of the most talented horses in eventing, with an exuberant and athletic cross-country technique, but some erratic dressage performances have prevented him from recording absolutely top-class results.
Bred in Spain by Ramon Beca, the Fines son was bought by Paul from Andrew as a five-year-old and he is a full-brother to Andrew’s current rides Nereo and Oplitas and former rides Beca and Fenicio. He has amassed 1478 British Eventing points in his career so far.
Andrew’s hand of horses qualified for the top level includes 2011 four-star performers Nereo, Avebury, Mr Cruise Control, as well as Calico Joe and Shady Grey, who were first and second at Blair Castle CCI*** last year.
Photo: Andrew Nicholson and Armada