Perfect return sees Townend land double win ahead of busy schedule

Great Britain's Oliver Townend riding Imperial Master
Great Britain's Oliver Townend riding Imperial Master
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huddersfield’s Oliver Townend got his 2014 eventing season off to a perfect start with a double dose of victory at Isleham.

Townend had been set to begin his campaign at Aston-Le-Walls on Saturday, but the weather put paid to that plan with the Aston-Le-Walls event now moved to take place this coming weekend.

But Townend will be in action at the Oasby Horse Trials and the Yorkshireman will arrive in winning form following his bright start in Cambridgeshire.

BGS Captain Morgan and Colonel Joe both won their Novice sections having been awarded dressage scores of 25.0 and 25.5 respectively.

LCC Cooley finished 14th and Rear Gunner 25th, again in Novice classes, while Red Andes Fanfare was 15th in his Open Novice class. Piggy French and Pippa Funnell were other big names beginning their season with Isleham victories.

Four of last weekend’s Townend quintet – Colonel Joe, Red Andes Fanfare, Rear Gunner and LCC Cooley – will now head to the Oasby Horse Trials which begin tomorrow.

Busy Townend has five Novices running tomorrow with another five Novices/Open Novices running on the Saturday. The Yorkshireman will then compete five BE100s on the Sunday.

Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson will also begin her British Eventing campaign at Oasby tomorrow where Annie Clover, Beltane Queen, Hero Motivator and Watermill Vision are among her entries over the weekend. Beverley’s Gary Parsonage also begins at Oasby tomorrow where Donny II is his sole entry in a BE100 class.

But one event which has been scratched from every eventer’s potential agenda are the Somerley Park Horse Trials, which have been cancelled due to continuous rainfall. The event was scheduled to take place on March 25-26.

Organiser Suzannah Cotterill commented: “The water levels at Somerley Park have reached such a point that we cannot access the ground to finish event preparations which unfortunately leaves us with no option other than to cancel. The hope is by cancelling now, members will be able to re-route and make alternative competition plans.”

British Eventing’s sport operations manager Chris Farr added: “It is such a pity to cancel Somerley. We are currently exploring the viability of rescheduling Somerley later in the calendar with the organisers.”

n Forinth, the SHB (GB) Life Graded Sports Horse Stallion, has moved to West End Farm Stud, near Driffield, for the 2014 stud season from eventer James Adams.

Forinth will join coloured event stallion, Greenvale Audacity, an up-and-coming eventer.

In 2014 he will combine stud duties with being an eventing schoolmaster for the stud owner’s teenage daughter, Charlotte Milnes.

It is hoped that Forinth will help Milnes proceed further up the British Eventing ladder and they are hoping to start at BE100 open and quickly progress to Novice.

Forinth, an Advanced Eventer and Grade B Show Jumper, has already proved himself a worthy contender in the competition world, including winning Osberton International CCI1* in his first season eventing in 2009.

Forinth and Milnes have been getting to know each other over the winter including lessons with trainer Zoe Rymer as well as attending clinics and local competitions.

They have qualified for the Dressage Finals at Port Royal EEC.

West End Farm Stud’s Jo Milnes beamed: “It is a testament to Forinth’s superb temperament that he is proving to be an excellent schoolmaster and we are looking forward to both the stud and eventing season from West End Farm Stud.

“West End Farm Stud are keen to let people see Forinth in the flesh and therefore will be attending stallion parades this spring, including Yorkshire Sport Horse on March 9 at Richmond Equestrian Centre, Belton Horse Trials, Badminton Horse Trials and Bramham Horse Trials.”

n The Yorkshire Sport Horse Committee have been forced to cancel their second Stallion Parade scheduled to take place at Richmond Equestrian Centre this coming Sunday.

lee.sobot@ypn.co.uk