Oliver Townend triumphs again at Burnham Market International

      Oliver and Arctic Mouse on their way to 8th place in the CIC3*


Oliver Townend won four classes at the 2017 Barefoot Estates Burnham Market Horse Trials with his win in the CIC3* not only being his tenth win of this class in ten years but also giving him the second leg of the Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam.

It is an impressive feat and one which prompted the event organiser Alec Lohore to jokingly ask ‘Should we ban him coming next year to give everyone else a chance?’

His CIC3* winner Cooley Master Class returned to international competition here after a lay off following a leg operation to replicate his winning performance here last year, as did Lanfranco in the Advanced class on Friday while the eight year old New Zealand bred mare Ececheira, previously ridden by Alice Montgomery, won the Intermediate and is a horse that Oliver is excited about for the future

“I love her, love her, love her” says Oliver “She’s careful, she gallops, she’s good in the brain, she’s got scope and she feels like she has everything”


      Oliver and Ececheira


This is the mare’s five win in a row and Oliver will be moving her up to 2* soon and is hoping she will be competing 3* by the end of the year. Another one to watch is his Novice Section I winner Sweeps Crystal Cruise who took the win on a dressage score of 24.3, maybe not surprisingly in view of her dressage background

In the CIC3* Oliver also finished eighth with Arctic Mouse and 11th on Ballaghmor Class while he opted to withdraw NoteWorthy from the CIC3* after the dressage despite sitting on a very good score of 41, with a view to him being very competitive for CIC competitions in the Event Rider Masters series this year

“He did a 50 dressage at Belton, he’s done a 40 dressage here so hopefully we’ll knock the same amount of penalties off at Chatsworth and we’ll be able to just canter around!”

As well as some great performances in the dressage and cross country, a highlight of the event for Oliver was the show jumping with eight of his ten horses jumping clear rounds and Cooley Master Class and Ballaghmor Class just incurring one time penalty in the CIC3*

“I’ve never, ever gone into 3* show jumping on four horses like that. They are all horses that want to clear the fences and it’s just a different world. I rode around there thinking I was Marcus Ehning!”

Samuel Thomas II, headed to Badminton in a couple of weeks’ time, finished third in the Advanced class on his dressage score of 33 but it wasn’t all plain sailing for Oliver on the weekend with ODT Ghareeb, also Badminton bound, having a problem at the Saracen Horse Feeds Corners and causing an involuntary dismount by Oliver.

Despite that little blip however it was an excellent few days for the Townend team who not only won the usual prizes but also plenty of Musk sausages and some Pol Roger champagne to go with them. We talked to Oliver about his wins and what it is that makes him so competitive at Burnham Market


Oliver Townend


Oliver with sausages, champagne, owner of Cooley Master Class Angela Hislop and the title sponsor Barefoot Estates