Townend confident new season can bring him success

HUDDERSFIELD star Oliver Townend says he is approaching the new eventing season with his best team ever.

World No 5 and British No 2 Townend will begin his 2013 season at Aston-Le-Walls on Saturday before heading to Isleham the following day.

From there the Yorkshireman will head to Tweseldown with the 30-year-old hugely excited about the season ahead.

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“We’ve got a lot of horses and the best bunch of owners I have ever had with probably the best bunch of horses I have ever had,” Townend told the Yorkshire Post.

“I’ve got quite a new string, a few new owners and it’s looking very promising.

“We are starting off on a familiar path with young horses on the first day at Aston-Le-Walls.

“Then we go to Isleham in Cambridge for the second day and I think I have got five days of eventing in the first eight or nine days or something like that.

“We’ll start with the young horses and then the older horses will come out later on.

“I’m looking forward to getting going.”

Looking further ahead to next month, Richmond Equestrian Centre will host an evening lecture-demonstration with highly-respected and renowned Mountain and Moorland judges Peter Boustead and Russell Sutcliffe.

The event, which takes place on Saturday, March 16, has been organised by Richmond Equestrian Centre’s Dales Pony Society Young Committee – a group of 18-30 year olds who are highly passionate about the Dales Pony.

The evening event will form part of a day-long celebration of the native pony organised by three separate groups as The Native Pony Extravaganza Sponsored by Gain Horse Feeds.

With over 18 trade stands booked, the event will offer a Stallion Parade, a showing Show with NPS Spring Festival Qualifiers and, finally, the aforementioned evening lecture-demonstration.

The day has been organised as a fundraiser to start the ball rolling for the Dales Pony Society Centenary Fund.

The Stallion Parade will feature some of the highest-quality licensed mountain and moorland stallions from all over the country and will begin at 11am.

There is still time to enter stallions for the parade should interested breeders wish to exhibit their top-class stallions at this event.

There will also be talks from Emson Equine Veterinary Surgeons as well as Solo-TI Equine Thermography.

Spectators can get in free of charge for the entire daytime programme and this will include access to the trade village.

Highland Pony Society and the newly formed North-Eastern Connemara Group have also taken on organising a showing show with NPS Spring Festival National Qualifiers.

All monies raised will go back into the societies and towards the fundraising for the Dales Pony Society.

Tickets are currently available for the Evening Gala Lecture-demonstration priced at £10 per adult and £5 for under-16s.

Tickets can be purchased online through www.nativeponyextravaganza.co.uk or via post with cheques payable to A Pennell c/o Todd Fall Farm, Redworth, Darlington, Co Durham, DL2 2XG.

n The West of Yore Point-to-Point which takes place at Whitcliffe Grange near Ripon this coming Sunday has received 118 entries.

The card will begin with the PPORA Club Members Conditions Race which has attracted 26 entries.

Among them are Laertes, a winner at Witton Castle already this season, as well as Know The Rules and Short Supply.

The latter will be making her debut in the pointing field and was formerly trained by Tim Walford.

The second race is a Club Members Conditions Race in which all jockeys who have ridden four or more winners under the rules of any recognised turf authority carry a 5lbs penalty.

This will benefit Emma Dwyer, who was going well at the South Wold meeting on Stick Together until coming down two from home. Ivo Thomas and Deuteronomy will also be seeking glory.

The Mixed Open race will follow over the extended 3m 4f and features 13 entries with out-and-out stayer Impact Zone among them.

In contrast, the Open Maiden for four- to seven-year-olds is run over the shorter 2m 4f with a number of horses making their debuts.

The afternoon’s restricted race has attracted a decent entry headed by Leedfka and Jacqueline Coward.

They could face opposition from Dead Ringa, Hand Act or Part and Nalim.

And Whispering Wild, Tippering and Dick Reilly for trainer Sarah Dent are among the possible contenders expected for the Open Maiden run over three miles, which is for five year olds and upwards.

Admission to the course is £10 per person with the first race due off at 12.30pm.

n Don’t miss this Saturday’s Yorkshire Post for a full exclusive interview with Huddersfield eventing ace Oliver Townend.