Australian Olympian Nikki Richardson made an indelible impression with a swift rise to represent her country at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Now, the renowned horsewoman is again reaching for the stars with nascent talent Knightrider.
Owned by Margot White, Knightrider was second at Camden in July and again second at Scone CIC in March, and following a layoff due to a minor injury, Knightrider resumed to finish a creditable fifth at Berrima in November 2008.
Nikki and Knightrider will target Sydney and Melbourne's International Three Day events ahead of a possible tilt at the Australian International Three Day Event in Adelaide in November, with Blair following a similar program aboard Ngamatea Beer. Ironically, if the pair's dreams come to fruition, Blair and Nikki may well be head-to-head representing New Zealand and Australia respectively!
"Knightrider is a lovely thoroughbred by Dracula, himself a son of English Derby winner Quest For Fame, and he just has so much potential, he is very exciting," Nikki says of the gelding whose performance in the dressage arena is nothing short of head-turning.
Born and bred in the Hunter Valley where her family are still based on a cattle property, Nikki Richardson's passion for riding had its genesis in her days at Merriwa Pony Club—and the personable young rider's talent and determination ensured she was among the youngest riders ever to represent her country at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Nikki and Wishful Thinking won the 1995 Trans Tasman Three Day Event in New Zealand, beating some established stars in the process, including World Champion Eventer Vaughn Jeffries and his horse Bounce.
That effort culminated in a trip to represent Australia at the Atlanta Olympics—an experience Nikki hopes to replicate in 2012 with Knightrider.
Nikki retired Wishful Thinking in 1999 after finishing second at the Sydney Olympic Trial Event, and within just two short years she had two new horses competing at advanced level.
Wishful Dreaming finished fourth at the 2002 Adelaide International Three Day Event—Australia's only Olympic level (Four Star) and most prestigious event.
Nikki sold Wishful Dreaming and gave birth to her first child Oscar in June 2003. The following November, she qualified her other new horse Makinground for the National A Squad.
Nikki and Makinground then flew to New Zealand where they placed in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games qualifier, an effort that resulted in a short-listing for the Athens Olympics. The combination was fifth at Adelaide in 2004.
Makinground was sold to a young rider and in September 2005, Nikki gave birth to the couple's second child Charlie. She was back in the saddle for the 2005 Four Star Adelaide International Three Day Event.
Nikki's expertise ensures she is in demand for private lessons at Vantage Hill, where her pupils rapidly improve under her tutelage.
Nikki's major achievements include:
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