Oliver Townend will compete new ride Fenyas Elegance for the first time at Floors Castle Horse Trials this weekend.
Fenyas Elegance, owned and bred in Ireland by PJ Hegarty, won the CCI3*s at Blenheim and Bramham with Aoife Clark before she made the decision not to continue riding the 11-year-old Ricardo Z mare.
Oliver said: “She’s been with me for a couple of weeks. She’s obviously a very talented mare, but clearly not straightforward – otherwise she wouldn’t be here. But at the moment everything feels positive so far. I feel privileged to be chosen to ride her.”
Oliver has entered her in the CIC2* at Floors Castle and, if that goes well, he says that “plan A” is the CCI3* at Saumur in France (21-24 May). He has also given her an entry at Tattersalls in Ireland (27-31 May).
Fenyas Elegance was bred by PJ Hegarty in Co. Cork out of the Good Thyne mare Fenya, who was the champion hunter mare at Dublin as a four- and five-year-old before showjumping to grade B level.
Fenyas Elegance was champion foal at Dublin and champion mare there as a four-year-old, also winning the Future Event Horse League final that year. She was competed by Fraser Duffy, Joseph Murphy and Brian Morrison, finishing in the top 10 at two-star three times with Brian. The mare joined Aoife for the 2013 season as PJ thought there would be more opportunities for her to go advanced in Britain than in Ireland.
The pair were second in the CIC3* at Chatsworth that year and won Blenheim CCI3*. The following June they took top spot at Bramham CCI3*, before Fenyas Elegance made her four-star debut at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy. She finished 21st.
This spring Fenyas Elegance had two open intermediate runs with Aoife before the CIC3* at Burnham Market, where she was withdrawn after dressage.