Oliver Townend hopes to hitch a lift — by helicopter

  • Eventer Oliver Townend is looking for a helicopter to whisk him from the Blair Castle International Horse Trials to the eventing grand prix at the Alltech FEI European Jumping & Dressage Championships — as both competitions take place on the same day (28 August).

    Oliver, who plans to have three or four horses running at Blair Castle, is reluctant to miss the unique grand prix.

    So he hopes to charter a helicopter for the 177-mile journey from Perthshire to Surrey to ride in both.

    The competition is part of the gala evening on the Friday night, when a break is taken from show jumping and dressage to showcase other equestrian disciplines.

    Oliver said: “I’m looking forward to the gala, it would make a great addition to the [Royal Windsor Horse Show] schedule as an annual event.”

    British Eventing spokesman Liza Randall said: “We’ve not heard about eventers chartering helicopters — it’s usually the preserve of show jumpers and jockeys. But given the helicopter pads and airstrips at places like Badminton and Burghley, it seems sensible.”

    Tickets are still available for the championships. Tel: 0871 230 1087.

    This article was first published in Horse & Hound (13 August, ’09)

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