He won the Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship on Andrew Cawthray’s Note Worthy by a huge margin of 12 marks, and took first and second in the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship with Stephanie D’Andrimont’s Sonic De Sermentol and Karyn Shuter’s Ridire Dorcha.
Note Worthy (pictured top), by Limmerick, scored 23.3 in the dressage and just added 1.2 time-faults across country.
“He’s very careful,” said Oliver. “He occasionally needs a squeeze, but has endless gallop and I really rate him.”
It was Oliver’s third victory in the intermediate championship and his fourth in the novice championship, but the first time he has won both in the same year – as William Fox-Pitt did in 2014.
Oliver led both classes from the outset, and showjumped clear on all three horses.
“I love it here. I hoped we’d have a winner this weekend – it’s very special when you fancy one for it and a plan comes off,” he said.
Sonic De Sermentol, a Belgian-bred Anglo-Arab nine-year-old, finished on his dressage score of 27.7.
“I told the owner [Stephanie] we’d win this two months ago but, because she’s Belgian, she hadn’t heard of it and didn’t know what I was talking about!” said Oliver.
Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon, who has only been back in the saddle for a couple of weeks after breaking her collarbone, finished second in the intermediate finals with Amy and Patricia Lambert’s Chequers Play The Game. Vittoria took over the ride on the 12-year-old this year from Jock Paget.
“I’m used to producing my horses from scratch so this feels like a fairly new ride, but I’m having such a good time with him – he’s a very happy, easy horse,” said Vittoria.
Third was Tom McEwen on Frank and Jane Inns’ Toledo De Kerser, who was second at Le Lion d’Angers in the seven-year-old world championships in 2014.
“He’s quirky, but he was completely class today,” said Tom.
Polly Stockton took third in the novice championship with Mafra Smithers’ home-bred Stanhopes Mr Macoy, a seven-year-old out of Miss Haversham, whom Polly rode to advanced level. She added 1.6 time-faults to her dressage of 29.7.
Piggy French pulled up from 18th after dressage to fourth on Morswood, completing on her dressage score of 32.8.
Andrew Hoy leads the British Eventing Open Championship after dressage. The Australian, who won this class in 1997 on Darien Powers, scored 31.6 with Rutherglen. Oliver Townend lies second and third on Mr Hiho and Armada.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full report from the Festival of British Eventing, on sale Thursday 13 August