Oliver Townend storms to double triumph at Burnham Market International Horse Trials
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Oliver Townend has triumphed at the Burnham Market International Horse Trials for the second consecutive year.
Townend took doubles in both international classes, the CIC** and CIC*** classes.
After taking the CIC*** on his new ride, Mr Hiho, formerly ridden by Emily King, he said: 'He gave me a great feel in the dressage and has fantastic scope to jump.'
Scoring 42.6, Mr Hiho pipped stablemate Armada, last year's winner of the class, to the lead by just 0.2 penalties. Oliver described him as a 'freak of a horse'.
In the CIC**, he took top position on Angela Hislop's Cooley SRS.
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The 16.2hh bay gelding overtook overnight leader Piggy French and Obos Cooley, pushing them into third by performing a foot-perfect double clear with no time penalties added. But first wasn't enough for Townend, who made it a double, coming second on Mr Andrew Cawthray's Colonel Joe.
It was also a successful horse trials for local riders.
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Mary Edmundson, from Suffolk, claimed an impressive fifth on Oliver Signy's Lobinstown Lariet in the CIC** against an experienced field.
Larry, as he is known at home, is described as being the 'biggest character' on the yard with Edmundson adding: 'He's so greedy, playful and naughty – he's like an overgrown pony, and to ride he can be quite lazy. In cross-country you need a lot of kicking and not much pulling, which makes my job easier.'
Edmundson, who has just graduated from the University of Reading gaining a 2.1 degree in English, is now working with horses full-time at the family yard in Dallinghoo, near Wickham Market.
Norfolk rider Amy Martin came a respectable 19th on her own Sparkys Reflection in the CIC**.
Event organiser Alec Lochore was pleased, although he admitted that preparations for the event hadn't gone smoothly,
'We've had some challenges with the weather, more so in the preparation rather than on the day,' he said. 'The wind has been more destructive than the rain, making us almost lose a marquee in the process.'
An estimated 8,000 spectators turned out over the Easter weekend, with the new sponsors Bacon.co.uk hoping to return next year.