Kihikihi’s Globe Trotting Course Designer >>

Kihikihi’s Globe Trotting Course Designer >>
Kihikihi course designer John Nicholson is in hot demand year round.
Since the last event, he’s been all over the world, invited to design courses in the United States, Sweden, Australia and more. He’s also been in Ireland and Sweden as part of the FEI programme to teach budding course designers.
And nothing is likely to change much in the future for the older brother of former world number one eventer Andrew Nicholson.
John Nicholson likes to push the boundaries – two years ago he notched a world first when he tracked the Farmlands Horse of the Year CIC3* and 2* competitors through a marquee as part of their cross country courses. Last year he had them go through two.
It’s a feat that other countries have tried to claim as their own, but Kiwis know it’s all been done before Down Under.
“I guess through all my travels I learn to build jumps out of all sorts of different things,” says Nicholson. “The course are built out of what you have on hand.”
In Sweden he is building a brand new course for the Swedish Championships, which is “quite exciting”. There has never been a course on the property but there are some castles and other buildings.
The champs, which are 1* and 2* level, will be held at the end of August, building up to a 3* level for 2017.
At Kihikihi this year Nicholson plans to make a few changes in the combinations . . . but he doesn’t like to give too much away.
“It is special to be marking a 20th birthday but sometimes it feels like it should be the 50th!”
There are a slew of internationals heading to the event this year, most of whom Nicholson has been working with over the past year.
“Everywhere I go people talk about Kihikihi and want to know more about it. I guess that’s a good thing,” he says.
After Kihikihi, Nicholson will head to Poland, Sweden, the UK and the United States . . . all before the end of May.
Meanwhile, riders at the fast-approaching 2016 event can expect the usual challenge out on course.

Photo: John Nicholson (by Eye Witness Images)

Date Added: Friday, 18th March 2016