Townend delighted to be back as he sets his sights on more world glory for Britain

HUDDERSFIELD’S Oliver Townend admits “it is a great feeling to be back” as he prepares for his Great Britain return at next month’s World Equestrian Games.

The talented Yorkshireman has not ridden for his country since winning European eventing team gold at Fontainebleau five years ago alongside William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook and Nicola Wilson.

It completed a remarkable 2009 season for Townend, who also captured the Badminton and Burghley four-star titles on different horses and rose to No 2 in the world rankings.

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After missing out on London 2012, the last two Europeans and 2010 world championships, Townend says: “It is a great feeling to be back with my old team-mates. It’s always in the back of your mind that you want to be on a British squad but, at the same time, you have got to be producing those results at top level to even be considered.

“Foremost was getting the good results and getting the form as good as it possibly could be and this Spring has been good for that.”

Townend finished second at Badminton in May on Armada and followed that up by taking Black Tie II to Germany’s top event in Luhmuhlen three weeks ago and securing fourth place.

The 31-year-old will ride Black Tie in Normandy and he is aiming to play a pivotal role for the reigning champions.