Townend in a class of his own at Burnham Market – again
- Credit: Archant
Oliver Townend, the world number one and leading British points winner, dominated proceedings in the headline classes at Burnham Market International Horse Trials.
Due to huge entries from many of the top horse and rider combinations in the world, two sections of Four Star competitors ran on Sunday, and Townend led both from pillar to post.
The first win came from his Burghley 2017 winner Ballaghmor Class. The pair posted a dressage score of 21.8 to which they added just 0.4 of a cross country time penalty, giving Oliver a four-penalty advantage over runners-up Alexander Bragg and Zagreb.
Next up was Cillnabradden Evo who scored 21.3 for the dressage, finishing the day on that score. Both of Oliver's horses broke the previous Burnham Market record for dressage scores at the level. Laura Collett was runner-up, riding London 52, five penalties off the pace.
This remarkable performance takes Townend's tally of Four Star wins at Burnham Market to 12 since 2007 – the class had to be abandoned last year due to inclement weather.
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He said: 'The event comes at a good time of year, and I invariably set out to have a competitive run ahead of Badminton. I thought the course was fantastic, the going was good, and the horses ran really well.'
Lizzie Baugh, 21, won the Three Star riding her Young Rider British team horse Quarry Man.
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'We've learnt together – he's Mr Perfect and always tries to please,' said Newark-based Baugh, who has produced the horse up through the rankings. She is currently doing a Masters degree in Equine Performance at Nottingham Trent University, but plans to become a professional event rider.
In second and third places were British team gold medallists Tom McEwen and Gemma Tattersall riding Dreamaway II and Arctic Soul respectively, while fellow team gold medallist Piggy French was again in the ribbons, taking fifth place on Calling Card.
It was a good weekend for Baugh, who on Saturday finished runner up to French in an intermediate section, French denied a double in one of the open intermediate classes by Jesse Campbell. Nicola Wilson picked up a second win of the weekend, this time in the other open intermediate, while the remaining intermediate section was won by Townend.