Townend tops rankings
Oliver Townend has topped the end of season British Eventing Points rankings for the first time since 2009, the year he won both the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, although he has been in the top three every year since 2004. The 31 year old who hails from Yorkshire also wins the Tony Collings Award for the best British rider.
During the 2014 season Oliver has amassed 1556 points. Notable wins came at Ballindenisk CICO3* and CCI2*, and Rockingham Castle, Floors Castle and Brightling Park's CIC2*s.
Then there was Armada's runner up finish at Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and eighth place at the Land Rover Burghley CCI4*s, and Black Tie II's fourth place at Luhmuehlen CCI4* which resulted in the pair's selections for the Senior British WEG squad. In total Oliver won nine international and 24 national classes this year.
“It's been a good year, and a bonus to finish at the top of the table again,” said Oliver. “Thanks to my great group of loyal owners, who are friends as much as owners, I have an exciting team of horses who have really stepped up to the plate. There's a lot of work to do over the winter, but I have plenty to be excited about thinking ahead to next season.”
William Fox-Pitt has retained his second place from last year, with a points total of 1272. His score was boosted by a win and ninth place at Rolex Kentucky CCI4* along with good results at Bramham, Burghley, Blenheim and the WEG, where he and Chilli Morning brought home the individual bronze medal.
Last year's leader, Andrew Nicholson (NZL), has dropped to third place on 1246. The spring CCI4*s did not go Andrew's way, but as the season progressed the remarkable Avebury produced wins at the British Open Championships, Barbury CIC3* and, of course, Land Rover Burghley CCI4*, boosting Andrew's points total.
The Goldman Cup
Awarded to the leading U21 rider at the end of each season, this year's recipient of the Goldman Cup is David Doel, aged 21. The Wiltshire-based rider slipped ahead of Tom Jackson on the very last weekend of competition, winning a total of 25 points at Aldon – including taking the CIC1*YH class. His final points tally is 263.
David got ahead of the game with a successful trip to Portugal in February for the Sunshine Tour. Miss Caruso was particularly consistent this year, providing David with CCI and CIC2* wins as well as a place on the Askham Bryan Young Rider team at the Young Rider European Championships, but success in the rankings has come from a good string across the levels.
“Being selected for the Askham Bryan Young Riders was obviously a highlight for me this year – European Championships are always exciting, and then winning a couple of senior internationals at Camphire and Barbury stand out,” said David. “I have a really decent string of lovely younger horses, so the next couple of seasons will be rebuilding years for me. Having said that, I also hope to be selected for a Nations Cup team or two.
“To finish on a high, with a one star win on my last ride of the season, and then to win the points rankings is fantastic. I definitely like winning prizes!”
Tom Jackson was runner up to David, having posted the biggest win of his career to date this year, the Bramham CCI3*u25 on Waltham Fiddlers Find. The same partnership also finished seventh individually at the Young Rider European Championships, all contributing to his points tally of 251.