Oliver Townend confirms his Badminton Horse Trials rides, plus one further withdrawal

  • Oliver Townend has confirmed which two horses he will ride at this week’s Badminton Horse Trials, presented by Mars Equestrian.

    The world number one’s rides will be Paul and Diana Ridgeon’s Swallow Springs (number 14) and Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan’s Ballaghmor Class (number 109).

    Oliver Townend originally had five horses entered for Badminton Horse Trials, but had withdrawn two of them – Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class and Sophie Adams’ Ridire Dorcha – last week. He has now also withdrawn the Hazeldines and Mitchell Fox Group’s Tregilder, leaving the two greys as Oliver’s partners in this week’s competition.

    Oliver will start as one of the favourites among the Badminton Horse Trials riders, with a chance of victory on both horses but a particularly strong chance on his Tokyo Olympic gold medal-winning ride Ballaghmor Class.

    There has been one more withdrawal this week. James Sommerville has pulled out his own and his mother Jennifer’s Talent (number 36), saying that the horse has a “mild injury”, which showed up on Tuesday morning after his final jump on Monday afternoon.

    “Talent’s welfare and safety is paramount to my team and I. Talent has been in our stables since a four-year-old. He is now 16 and owes me and my family nothing. He has achieved so much for us, taken us to numerous five-star events and Nations Cup competitions,” said James. “Talent and I will be back competing in the near future.”

    James wished the remaining competitors luck for the week, particularly his good friend Ben Hobday, who is number 37 so was due to follow him cross-country.

    “Gutted I can’t give you a lead round,” he said.

    The competition officially starts with the first horse inspection at 4.30pm today.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...