Date of birth: 15/11/1982

Championship experience

Oliver got his senior colours when he was an individual at the 2005 European Championships at Blenheim, where he and Topping had a stop across country. After finishing third and best of the British at Badminton last year, he went to the World Equestrian Games in Aachen as an individual, finishing 11th on Flint Curtis.

Recent form

A prolific one-day event winner, Oliver has surprisingly still not won a three-day event. But he scored his biggest victory to date this spring when Flint Curtis bagged the World Cup qualifier at Burnham Market. He withdrew the horse after a disappointing dressage performance at Badminton, where he also had a horse fall on the cross-country with new ride Tom Cruise II.

Oliver bounced back to form with second place in the World Cup qualifier at Chatsworth on Flint Curtis and the pair then took another runner-up placing in the CCI*** at Punchestown. At Bramham, he achieved the feat of going clear across country on four horses — two in the under-25 section and two in the seniors — and gaining top 10 placings on all of them.

Oliver secured his spot for this year’s European Championships at Pratoni del Vivaro (13-16 September) by finishing sixth in the CIC*** at Barbury Castle with Flint Curtis. But the pair suffered a setback in the British Open Championships at Gatcombe when they picked up 20pen at a corner and then Oliver fell off when Flint Curtis left a leg later on the course.

Oliver and Flint Curtis bounced back to form two weeks later at Thirlestane, where they won the Scottish Open Championship.

European Championship performance 2007

Oliver was relieved that Flint Curtis put his best foot forward in the first phase at Pratoni, scoring 44.2 for 14th at that stage. Oliver was second out for the team on Saturday and picked up 20pen for running off at the second target arrowhead at the bottom of the influential slide fence, but still accrued only four time-penalties.

Oliver held his 14th place overnight and pulled up to eventual 12th with one fence down on Sunday. He also picked up his first medal, a team gold.

Background

A dealer’s son from Yorkshire, Oliver was based with Kenneth Clawson for three years before setting up on his own in Leicestershire. His girlfriend is fellow eventer Piggy French.

Click here to see pictures of Oliver Townend