trn/irs equestrian anstar

Andrew Nicholson is chasing the biggest purse in eventing at the Burghley horse trials, starting tonight.

Nicholson stands to collect nearly $300,000 if he can win the prestigious event.

He says he is a strong contender with two horses at Burghley.

"I think Avebury has a very very live chance and Calico Joe he's not so old and not so experienced, who knows thought he's here and that's a start."

The Burghley champion takes home nearly $110 thousand , while almost $190 thousand are up for grabs for first place in the eventing classic series.

However Mark Todd says he doesn't have such high hopes for his horse Major Milestone.

"Because I know he's not going to be in the hunt after the dressage. I'm don't feel any pressure I'm just here to enjoy myself and hopefully finish as high up as we can."

Fellow London 2012 bronze medallists Jonathan Paget and Caroline Powell are also competing at Burghley, as is the Olympic team's reserve Lucy Jackson.

Nicholson sits second in the series behind Great Britain's William Fox-Pitt.