Townend on Top Form at Burgham

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. Image credit Action Replay Photography.

Oliver Townend is in the lead in both the Newton Hall CCI4*-S class and the Howard Russell CCI3*-S class at Northumberland’s premier equestrian event, Burgham International Horse Trials, after the first day of dressage.

Oliver has brought his top two horses – 2017 Burghley CCI5* winner Ballaghmor Class, and Cooley Master Class, winner of Kentucky CCI5* in both 2018 and 2019. He won the CCI4*-S last year on Ballaghmor Class and the CCI3*-S on Tregilder.

Today in the Audi On Demand International Arena, he scored 25.1 on 12-year-old Ballaghmor Class in the CCI4*-S, who also finished runner-up at Badminton CCI5* this spring, and 21.4 in the CCI3*-S on Cooley Master Class, and holds considerable leads in each section.

Neither horse was 100% tuned as this is part of their preparation for the major events of the autumn, but I was happy with where they are at the moment,”

said Oliver.

I always bring my top horses to Burgham because it has the best going and some of the best courses in the country.”

Leicestershire rider Eliza Stoddart sits in second place in the Newton Hall CCI4*-S with a score of 29.4 aboard Priorspark Opposition Freedom, while Tom Jackson is third with 29.8 on Bahira M.

In the Howard Russell CCI3*-S, Izzy Taylor piloted PSH Lava Flow into second place late on in proceedings, scoring 26. Cheshire’s Yasmin Ingham holds third with Banzai Du Loir on a mark of 27.1.

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Harry Meade has taken the lead in the Metnor Group CCI2*-S. He scored 27.3 on Peter Harris’s seven-year-old Merrywell Tradition, with Tom Jackson closely behind with 27.9 on Ask For Manchier. Third is Erika Sjostrom (Dantino B, 28.5).

Sebastian Roldan Olivera, who rides for Northumberland’s Ben and Emma Hobday, won the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifier for four-year-olds with Shadow Kingsman, owned by Ben with Jack and Freya Cork. Warwickshire rider Ben Way took the five-year-old class riding Jocelyn Rosenberg’s Annsfort Simba, just pipping Oliver Townend’s Cooley Rosalent, who was ridden by Victor Burtin.

Dressage for all three international sections continues tomorrow (Saturday, 27 July), while showjumping and cross-country take place on Sunday, 28 July. National competitions take central stage tomorrow, with classes running from BE90 to open intermediate level.

There are also British Riding Clubs area showjumping qualifiers at Burgham on Sunday.

Other attractions include lots of children’s entertainment, a wide variety of carefully selected locally produced food options, licenced bars and great shopping.

For more information and to buy tickets online, visit www.burghaminternationalhorsetrials.co.uk

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