British Eventing (BE) has crowned its leading rider and horse for 2017.
Oliver Townend was the top rider for the fourth consecutive year with more than 220 national and international starts this season, including winning Burghley Horse Trials and the CCI3* at Ballindenisk International Horse Trials.
Oliver was also on the gold medal-winning team at the European Eventing Championships and was crowned intermediate champion at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe.
Oliver finished the season with a total of 1,698 points, 174 points clear of second-placed rider Izzy Taylor.
Izzy’s standout results for 2017 include winning a gold medal at the FEI world breeding championships for young horses in the six-year-old championship and a silver medal in the seven-year-old class.
Izzy also won the final leg of the Event Rider Masters series at Blenheim and the CIC3* at Bramham.
Oliver will be presented with the Tony Collins Trophy at the BE awards lunch in January.
“BE again congratulates Oliver Townend who makes this an impressive fourth year in a row at the top of the leading rider league,” said BE chief executive David Holmes.
“Oliver has enjoyed an outstanding competition season including his determined performance as pathfinder for the gold medal-winning British European Championships team and Burghley win.
“With Izzy in second place and a further 11 British riders also inside the top 20 of the league, plus Sam Ecroyd’s win for a second year in a row in the Goldman Cup, we applaud the brilliant year it has been for British combinations and thank all the competitors, owners, volunteers and organisers for their hard work and commitment to another successful year.”
BE horse of the year
Bulana was named BE’s top horse for 2017 with a total of 357 points.
The 11-year-old mare ridden by Nicola Wilson took home individual bronze and team gold at the European Eventing Championships and came second at Luhmuhlen.
Nicola was also named professional rider of the year and Bulana shortlisted for the horse of the year category at the Horse & Hound awards (2 November).
Bulana is owned by Jo and James Lambert, who will be presented with the Light Horse Calcutta Challenge Cup at the BE awards lunch.
The second-placed horse was the Soul Syndicate’s Arctic Soul, ridden by Gemma Tattersall.
The 14-year-old ended the season on 340 points, 160 of which were gained with a third at Burghley Horse Trials and a further 120 from a seventh at Badminton Horse Trials.
Gemma and the former racehorse were also crowned the 2017 British open champions at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe.
“Bulana’s place at the head of the leading horse league is a fantastic achievement for Nicola’s loyal owners, Jo and James Lambert, and a fitting celebration of their European team gold and individual bronze medal,” added Mr Holmes.