Oliver Townend completed the British four-star double this afternoon when he added the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials title to the one he won at Badminton in May.
“I’m still celebrating Badminton,” said Oliver (pictured) this evening. “It’s amazing and there’s no point in saying anything else because it hasn’t sunk in yet and it probably won’t for another year. Hopefully this puts me in a position to keep going forward for the future and to have more top class horses.”
Oliver went into the arena with two show jumps in hand, but jumped an exhibition round on Andrew Cawthray’s Carousel Quest to finish 8.7 penalties clear of the rest of the field.
“I get more nervous in the morning — by the time I get on the horse and trot into the arena I go a bit feelingless, which is surprising but quite useful,” said the 26-year-old.
Oliver’s result puts him in pole position to take the $150,000-to-the-winner HSBC FEI Classics race and sets up a thrilling competition in Kentucky next year, when Oliver could become only the second rider to scoop the $350,000 Rolex grand slam for winning Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky consecutively.
Listen to interview with Oliver Townend
Polly Stockton was the greatest climber today, pulling up from sixth overnight to finish second after a clear round on Arthur Comyn’s 10-year-old Westwood Poser.
“This result is a surprise, but after he went well at Tattersalls and Gatcombe’s World Cup qualifiers I knew he could do well if it all went to plan,” said Polly, who only decided to enter the horse when her top ride Regulus had to have colic surgery at the end of July.
“Yesterday when there were so many problems I thought this was a serious test for the poor horse, but he got stuck in and was brilliant.”
Listen to interview with Polly Stockton
Australia’s Sam Griffiths repeated his Badminton result by finishing third on Happy Times.
“This shows that was no fluke and I’m very excited about him for the future — I think he’s going to be a great horse,” said Sam.
Caroline Powell had the hard luck story of this afternoon’s show jumping, lowering two fences to drop from third to eighth with Lenamore.
1. Oliver Townend on Carousel Quest (GB) 43
2. Polly Stockton on Westwood Poser (GB) 51.7
3. Sam Griffiths on Happy Times (AUS) 52.3
4. Phillip Dutton on Truluck (USA) 54.5
5. Clayton Fredericks on Poilu (AUS) 55.7
6. Paul Tapner on Inonothing (AUS) 58.3
Don’t forget to buy H&H next week (10 September) for our 10-page Burghley special report including colour pictures, comment from course-designer Mark Phillips and full analysis.