Festival of British Eventing, Gatcome, PR
Oliver Townend made the Advanced section his own at The Festival of British Eventing, presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) claiming three of the top four places with his trio of rides.
Top of the pile was Peter Windus’ Dunbeau, who added one pole down in the show jumping and eight time penalties across the country to his good dressage score of 25.7.
He finished just over one penalty ahead of Oliver’s second ride, Sue Chadwick and Komfi’s Samuel Thomas II.
“It was a really nice surprise [to finish first and second],” said Oliver, who recorded characteristically speedy rounds on all three rides. “I liked the changes to the course, which meant spectators were more spread out around the park. The new water rode well, although having to turn back and jump it a second time was a bit disconcerting.”
Oliver was referring to the brand new Equex China Pond at the top end of the course, which required riders to first jump in over a hanging log and out over a triple brush (fence 12ab), before looping back and jumping another log in followed by a corner out (fence 13ab). It was a focal point for spectators, who were able to see at least half a dozen fences from this vantage point.
Oliver also finished fourth with Michael McGrath’s Dromgurrihy Blue, just behind Tom McEwen and Frank and Jane Inns’ up-and-coming Toledo De Kerser, who led after the Show Jumping, but opted for a steady trip across the Gatcombe parkland to drop to third.
- Dunbeau (Oliver Townend) 37.7
- Samuel Thomas II (Oliver Townend) 38.9
- Toledo De Kerser (Tom McEwen) 41.5
- Dromgurrihy Blue (Oliver Townend) 45
- High Kingdom (Zara Tindall) 47.9