Oliver Townend won the inaugural Express Eventing International Cup in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium with a brilliantly executed, fast clear round to take home the £100,000 first prize.
Fourth after the morning’s dressage to music phase, Oliver left nothing to chance on his experienced grey, Flint Curtis. He finished more than 40sec ahead of second-placed Lucy Wiegersma and Shaabrak, who won £50,000.
Listen to Oliver Townend’s interview
Bettina Hoy and Ringwood Cockatoo lay first after the dressage. The German former European champion rode a classy, immaculately presented test a score of 50.97 but, last to jump and visibly shaken after the sad accident to Mary King’s horse Call Again Cavalier, Bettina retired early on in the jumping phase.
Just six of the 19 starters completed. William Fox-Pitt and Ballincoola finished third a couple of seconds behind Lucy and pocketed £20,000, while Clayton Fredericks was fourth on Ben Along Time. Fifth was Italian rider Vittoria Panizzon (Rock Model) and sixth was Caroline Powell (Lenamore).
Five out of the first six riders were eliminated, and it wasn’t until Lucy Wiegersma, Clayton Fredericks and Oliver Townend all completed that the crowd began to rally round the event. Huge cheers greeted Oliver’s round, but the atmosphere was irretrievably dampened by the loss of Call Again Cavalier.
1st Oliver Townend (Flint Curtis)
2nd Lucy Wiegersma (Shaabrak)
3rd William Fox-Pitt (Ballincoola)
4th Clayton Fredericks (Ben Along Time)
5th Vittoria Panizzon (Rock Model)
6th Caroline Powell (Lenamore)