Four World Class Potential event riders caught the selectors’ eyes following spectacular Badminton performances this year. Oliver Townend, 23, scored third place with Sharon Hunt in 6th and Lucy Wiegersma 7th. Ruth Edge finished just outside the top 10, in 11th position. The selectors have subsequently decided to make Townend part of Britain’s squad for the World Equestrian Games with Sharon Hunt as reserve and Wiegersma and Edge as second reserves.

“To have Oliver, Sharon and Lucy finish in the top ten, and for Ruth to finish in 11th place underlines the importance of Lottery funding and how it is benefiting these young riders to excel at the world’s toughest three-day event,” said Vikki Underwood, World Class Start & Potential Manager. “All of the six riders who competed at Badminton were a credit to the World Class Potential Eventing programme.”

“I was hopeful that the selectors would note my Badminton performance but you never know,” Townend told HHO, “The World Class Potential scheme has helped with the training.” Townend is giving his WEG horse Flint Curtis a short rest before three quiet runs in the build up to the Games. And despite being honoured to represent his country, he appears to be taking the whole thing in his stride, ‘I don’t even know when the competition is yet,” he noted yesterday.

The World Class Start and Potential Eventing programme identifies talented and dedicated young event riders and supports those riders who are already progressing onto the Eventing Performance Pathway. Lottery funded through UK Sport, the schemes offer a development pathway that will help riders proceed onto Olympic Performance squads in 2008 and 2012 and is implemented in eventing, show Jumping and para dressage.

For more information please contact: Victoria Underwood, World Class Start and Potential Manager (Tel 02476 698876), email: Victoria.underwood@bef.co.uk.