The surname Nicholls is one which has turn out to be synonymous with horseracing through the years. And it seems as if that isn’t about to vary any time quickly.
Olive Nicholls, who lately turned 17, is following in her household’s footsteps and is already making a superb 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 crew. Olive’s mom, Georgie Nicholls, with whom Olive lives and for whom she at the moment rides, has been driving and coaching in Oxfordshire on and off because the late Nineteen Nineties, initially underneath 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 convey various additional 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 take advantage of the lucky place I’m in.”
Olive additionally has a ardour for eventing, competing as much as intermediate and two-star degree, and at the moment has two horses she plans to marketing campaign on this sphere in 2023.
“Eventing is now simply my enjoyable actually,” she explains. “This yr I’d like to have a superb shot on the junior crew, however there’s no strain with that – I simply wish to take pleasure in 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 effectively 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 observe 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 dwelling frequently, 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 educated by her mom.
Viroflay most lately received his second point-to-point at Larkhill (1 January) by 12 lengths, beating some good horses within the course of.
“The consequence was past my expectations and I almost 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 sincere, the harm was probably the largest 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 palms actually.”
Olive says that she has been “extraordinarily fortunate” to journey among the horses that she has gained expertise on in point-to-points, equivalent to earlier a number of Nationwide Hunt winners Virak and Shantou Flyer.
“The skilled horses taught me essentially 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 signifies that now I’ve have extra information to get on the youthful horses this yr and each train them a bit as effectively.”
When it comes to this season Olive says that she might 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 bounce up in competitors,” she explains. “I’d love to offer the women’ nationwide championship a go, however I don’t assume I’m able to safe it simply but. I’d like to do higher than I did final season although and I’ve quite a lot of private objectives; I’d like to get my class B licence and get some rides underneath Guidelines underneath my belt.”
Within the long-term, Olive takes no time in saying that she want 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 ok to be knowledgeable jockey, and it appeared like the best factor to do, then in fact I might give it a go. However I wouldn’t try this except I believed I might actually do it.”
Notice down the title Olive Nicholls – she is certainly one to comply with.
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