The surname Nicholls is one which has develop into synonymous with horseracing through the years. And it appears as if that isn’t about to vary any time quickly.
Olive Nicholls, who not too long ago turned 17, is following in her household’s footsteps and is already making a great impression on the horse world by driving a formidable 14 point-to-point winners from 37 rides to-date. She additionally secured the novice rider point-to-point championship final season.
Olive is a daughter of a number of champion Nationwide Hunt coach Paul Nicholls, whereas her older sister Megan Nicholls had a profitable profession as a jockey earlier than hanging up her boots to current racing on TV, together with being a part of the ITV Racing workforce. Olive’s mom, Georgie Nicholls, with whom Olive lives and for whom she presently rides, has been driving and coaching in Oxfordshire on and off because the late Nineteen Nineties, initially beneath her maiden title of Browne.
“My life has all the time solely been horses,” says Olive, who’s juggling driving with a BTEC enterprise course. “I’m very fortunate to be within the place I’m in, however in fact it does carry various further ties having the surname that I do. There may be positively is a little more strain and I’m very conscious that. However I feel greater than something, I put strain on myself – I’m fairly robust on myself – however I’m making an attempt to benefit from the lucky place I’m in.”
Olive additionally has a ardour for eventing, competing as much as intermediate and two-star stage, and presently has two horses she plans to marketing campaign on this sphere in 2023.
“Eventing is now simply my enjoyable actually,” she explains. “This 12 months I’d like to have a great shot on the junior workforce, however there’s no strain with that – I simply wish to get pleasure from it.”
With a lot on her plate, Olive’s typical day is fairly busy.
“I’ve to attend my enterprise course three-and-a-half days per week, which works fairly properly round my driving,” she says. “In the course of the Christmas holidays I used to be driving out six heaps for mum close to Lambourn every morning, then I rode my two eventers after which did night stables. My life is just about simply horses.”
Olive rides pointers predominantly for her mom and picks out Viroflay as one to look at this season.
“I feel Viroflay is a really thrilling horse. He positively retains me on my toes and makes me work for it as he’s a little bit of a humorous fish, a bit nuts and runs away with me at residence usually, however we love him for it,” explains Olive of the six-year-old, who’s owned by her father Paul Nicholls together with John Bolton, and is skilled by her mom.
Viroflay most not too long ago gained his second point-to-point at Larkhill (1 January) by 12 lengths, beating some good horses within the course of.
“The end result was past my expectations and I practically didn’t run him as he’s so inexperienced, however he was an absolute professional and I’ve by no means ever had a sense like that,” explains Olive.
Viroflay has simply returned to racing after two years on the sidelines.
“He did a leg after two juvenile hurdle runs for dad and to be trustworthy, the harm was probably the most important blessing I’ve ever had as a result of I wouldn’t have Viroflay in any other case.
“He was owned by the Stewart household and Andy Stewart very sadly handed away in 2022, so I feel he was blessed into our arms actually.”
Olive says that she has been “extraordinarily fortunate” to trip a number of the horses that she has gained expertise on in point-to-points, reminiscent of earlier a number of Nationwide Hunt winners Virak and Shantou Flyer.
“The skilled horses taught me probably the most on the course and that’s the solely factor that’s going to take a jockey ahead. To have these older horses final season implies that now I’ve have extra information to get on the youthful horses this 12 months and each educate them a bit as properly.”
When it comes to this season Olive says that she will likely be constructing on final season’s experiences.
“Clearly now I’m not a novice rider [having won the title last season], there’s a little bit of a soar up in competitors,” she explains. “I’d love to present the women’ nationwide championship a go, however I don’t suppose I’m able to safe it simply but. I’d like to do higher than I did final season although and I’ve a number of private objectives; I’d like to get my class B licence and get some rides beneath Guidelines beneath my belt.”
Within the long-term, Olive takes no time in saying that she wish to go down the racehorse coaching route.
“I’d love to coach Nationwide Hunt horses, but when I believed I used to be going be adequate to be an expert jockey, and it appeared like the correct factor to do, then in fact I’d give it a go. However I wouldn’t do this until I believed I might actually do it.”
Observe down the title Olive Nicholls – she is unquestionably one to comply with.
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