No stopping Townend

Oliver Townend
Oliver Townend
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HUDDERSFIELD’s world No 4 Oliver townend continues his fine start to the British Eventing season with 10 top-five placings at Oasby.

Eight-year-old gelding Ballaghmor Class led the way, excelling in his Intermediate section, propelled by a dressage score of 23.6.

A double clear led to Ballaghmor Class and Townend finishing nearly ten points ahead of runner-up Piggy French on Quarrycrest Echo.

French herself enjoyed a hat-trick of victories at Oasby plus Quarrycrest Echo’s second-placed finish at an event where there were also victories for Yorkshire duo Noah Brook and Nicola Cornforth.

Huddersfield-raised Brook enjoyed a first and a second, with Deo Volente II winning his BE100 Open class and Liberty Belle X second in her BE90 class.

Knaresborough-based Cornforth also won her BE90 section on Silver Tom.

Breckenbrough’s Chloe Bell also did Yorkshire particularly proud.

Bell, who is just 16, was fifth in her Novice class on Feagh Delamain and also fourth in her BE100 section on Cavalier In A Millon with two of Izzy Taylor’s rides directly behind her.

Bell beamed: “I had an amazing day.

“Dodger (Feagh Delmain) was epic doing a 31 test and a beautiful double clear around a rather large course finishing fifth in the Novice class.

“Millie (Cavalier In A Millon) was also fab, doing a 34 double clear in the 100 and finishing fourth.”

Richmond’s Storm Straker also had two top five finishes with William Wordsworth and Well Designed both fifth at BE100 Open level.

Grafton’s James Sommerville’s best finish from six entries was Fellside Favour’s sixth-placed result in his BE100 Open class.

Harrogate’s Hazel Towers took Simply Clover, Ash and Simply Smart to Oasby with the trio 13th, 14th and 23rd at Intermediate, Novice and Open Novice respectively.

Towers said: “It was another very successful weekend at Oasby, with all three horses jumping clear.”

Bedale’s Sara Bowe had four horses in action with Themis Du Manoir 16th at Open Novice while Doncaster’s Sophie Platt’s best finish was 11th at Open Novice level on Be Be III.

As far as Townend was concerned, Power Drive was also second at Intermediate level with Kanga Rouge second in a Novice.

Pursuit and Tregilder were both BE100 runners up while Treboy and Harthill Diamond were third at Open Novice and BE100 level respectively.

Cooley Master Class, Cooley SRS, Peruising and Dromgurrihy Blue were all fifth - Peruising at Open Novice level and the other three at Open Intermediate.

Townend is taking ten horses to the Lincolnshire Horse Trials this weekend led by stable star Armada who will begin his season at Open Intermediate level.

Armada is again being aimed at Badminton where he finished a fantastic second last year.

Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson remains sidelined with a broken collarbone but the London 2012 silver medallist has four horses entered at Burgham next weekend in Annie Clover, Bulana, One Two Many and Watermill Vision.

This weekend’s other two British Eventing fixtures come at Aldon International in Somerset and Swalcliffe Park in Oxfordshire.