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England Beckons For Rising Star Of Cross Country Course Design
Te Awamutu, New Zealand

New Zealand's John Nicholson has been awarded a Prime Minister's Scholarship to attend the 2007 Hartpury International Course Designers Seminar in England for the sport of Eventing. The Course Director is Pierre Michelet from France, himself a leading figure among the sport's International Course Designers. The seminar will be attended by up and coming Course Designers from throughout the world. Liaison with the other Course Designers from throughout the equestrian world and inspection of British Horse Trial Courses will assist John to keep up with international trends in both Course Designing and Course Building, bringing this knowledge back to New Zealand.

Nicholson is Course Designer and Course Builder for the Mitavite Horse Trial at Kihikihi Domain featuring the international event, New Zealand Qualifier for the FEI Eventing World Cup. Nicholson farms adjacent to the Kihikihi Domain, part of the Cross Country Course runs over his farm. He was instrumental to the redevelopment of the Kihikihi Domain as a multi-sport venue. He led by example throughout this development, re-invigorated the Kihikihi Community and encouraged them to take 'ownership' of their domain. His community efforts were acknowledged when Kihikihi Waikato Eventing Inc was awarded the TrustPower National Community Supreme Award for New Zealand in 2006.

Nicholson came to the attention of the sports elite when the beautiful courses he has designed and built at Kihikihi drew accolades of approval from the riders who rode them. Visiting International Judges Jim Dunn and Gillian Rolton both commended John's cross country courses at Kihikihi as being technically excellent and artistically designed and the World Cup track equal to any other in the world. New Zealand's renowned former International Eventer Mark Todd said "I am always in awe of the inspiration he has to create new fences that will accurately test both horse and rider to the maximum yet be safe and fair at the same time. It is a gift!"

Nicholson's Course Design talents are based on artistry and creativity, practical building skills, and horsemanship gained from a lifetime working with horses. He has a deep understanding of the needs of the horse, rider and sport. John competed successfully in Eventing before he retired from competition to manage the family dairy farm. His brother Andrew went on to achieve international Eventing success for NZ and is still based and competing in England.

Nicholson's rise to the top of Course Designing in New Zealand has been nothing short of meteoric. When he completes this Hartpury Seminar he will be eligible to become a qualified FEI International Course Designer.

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