Top British event riders of 2014 crowned

  • Oliver Townend heads British Eventing’s top 100 list for 2014, his first win in the rankings since 2009.

    Oliver also takes the Tony Collings Award for the best British rider. The highlights of his year include finishing second at Badminton (Armada) and fourth at Luhmühlen (Black Tie II).

    It’s been a good year, and a bonus to finish at the top of the table again,” said Oliver. “Thanks to my great group of loyal owners, who are friends as much as owners, I have an exciting team of horses who have really stepped up to the plate.

    “There’s a lot of work to do over the winter, but I have plenty to be excited about thinking ahead to next season.”

    Oliver, 31, accrued 1556 points this year and clocked up nine international and 24 national victories.

    William Fox-Pitt finishes second, as he did last year, on a total of 1272 points. The high points of his year included a win at Kentucky (Bay My Hero) and individual bronze at the World Equestrian Games (Chilli Morning).

    Andrew Nicholson, who has topped the list for the past four years, finishes third this time, with 1246 points. The second half of the season was particularly lucrative for Andrew with his wins in the British Open Championships, at Barbury and at Burghley.

    This is the eighth consecutive year that these three riders have held the top three places, in various different orders.

    Nicola Wilson is the best female rider in fourth, the first time she has taken this accolade. She nudged ahead of Izzy Taylor — the leading lady last year — by virtue of her eighth place at Pau on the last weekend of the European season. Jonelle Price finishes sixth.

    Doel is best under-21 rider

    David Doel is the leading under-21 rider and receives the Goldman Cup for his efforts. The 21-year-old, a member of the bronze medal-winning team at the young rider Europeans, finished 41st in the list overall (263 points).

    David moved ahead of fellow bronze medallist and national under-25 champion Tom Jackson (equal 42nd) on the final weekend of the season at Aldon. David accumulated 25 points there, including a win in the young horse CIC*.

    Being selected for the Askham Bryan young riders was obviously a highlight for me this year — European Championships are always exciting — and then winning a couple of senior internationals at Camphire and Barbury stand out,” said David.

    “I have a really decent string of lovely younger horses, so the next couple of seasons will be rebuilding years for me. Having said that, I also hope to be selected for a Nations Cup team or two.

    “To finish on a high, with a one-star win on my last ride of the season, and then to win the points rankings is fantastic. I definitely like winning prizes!

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