Published: Mon, September 04, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Oliver Townend wins Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

Oliver Townend wins Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

"He's a talent like I have never had", said Townend, 34. A fence and a time fault added five penalties to his overnight score, to finish on 51.5.

This was the best British overall result at Burghley of recent years, with Piggy French (Vanir Kamira), Gemma Tattersall (Arctic Soul) and Tom McEwen (Toledo de Kerser) filling the next three spots, Tina Cook (Star Witness) seventh and Izzy Taylor (Trevidden) ninth, having dropped from third with an expensive three show jumps down.

"She was fabulous", said Piggy of Trevor Dickens' 12-year-old mare.

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"Although we had one down, that was like a clear round for him", Price said.

She posted on her Instagram page shortly before the first horse inspection was due to get under way: "Sadly I have had to withdraw MALIN HEAD CLOVER (Ali G) from Burghley Horse Trials".

Some had doubted whether Townend could produce his exploits from eight years ago, particularly after his opening ride Samuel Thomas II could only manage 56th in the dressage.

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The Shropshire-based Yorkshireman became a first British victor at Burghley since William Fox-Pitt six years ago as he guided 10-year-old Ballaghmor Class to victory and a £90,000 top prize.

And despite his ride being just a youngster - who still has a big future in store - Townend believes Burghley victory can turn a corner for a partnership that has had its ups and downs like any other. "We've had Ballaghmor Class from the word go and he's a top class horse".

"We had a showjumping fence down, and sometimes he is still a little bit babyish with the crowds, but this is a very special moment". "Originally I was going to go straight at the Trout Hatchery but when I came down the hill to, I was a good 10 seconds up on my clock and I actually felt not physically strong enough to turn him in the water as I knew he was going to fly in over that log".

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"He's only just learnt a lot of things - I gave him as much time as I could before I pressed go".

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