World number one tastes success in two sections of horse trials to take his winning tally to 12 since 2007
World number one, Oliver Townend, again proved to be unbeatable in the headline classes at Burnham Market horse trials over the weekend.
He won two sections of the Four Star category taking his tally of wins at that level at Burnham to a remarkable 12 since 2007.
Townend led from start to finish in both, first on his 2017 Burghley winner Ballaghmoor Class and then on Cillnabradden Evo, both with record breaking dressage scores and both going clear across country and in the show jumping.
His performance was the icing on the cake for the Barefoot Estates sponsored event which had attracted more than 800 horse and rider combinations including Olympic, European and National champions and had members of the royal family among the spectators.
The Queen's grand-daughter Zara Tindall was cheered on by her husband Mike, daughters Mia and Lena and by her cousin Prince William who turned out with the Duchess of Cambridge and their children George and Charlotte.
Zara competed in novice classes on Friday finishing third and fifth but it was Townend who reigned supreme.
Before heading home with his string of horses he said: “This 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.”
Runners-up to Townend were Alexander Bragg on Zagreb, four penalties behind in the first section, and Laura Collett on London 52, trailing by five penalties.
Earlier on Sunday, 21-year-old Lizzie Baugh won the Three Star class on her Young Rider British team horse Quarry Man.
She beat British team gold medallists TomMcEwen and Gemma Tattersall with another team gold medallist Piggy French in the ribbons in fifth place on Calling Card.
It was a great weekend for Lizzie who finished runner-up to Piggy in an intermediate section on Saturday.
Piggy just missed out on a double by finishing second in one of the open intermediate classes, fellow team member Nicola Wilson had two wins and there are no prizes for guessing who won the remaining intermediate section final intermediate section – it was another first for Townend.
The opening day, on Friday, featured novice and lower level classes with a number of top flight riders giving their up and coming horses an early season run.
It also gave more local riders a chance to shine with wins for Norfolk-based Hannah Sutton and Suffolk-based Caroline Bridge.
Saturday's action included a win for Kitty King in the main advanced class on Vendredi Biats – a good pipe opener for the pair's Badminton horse trials plans.
They narrowly pipped Townend on Ulises and both combinations will meet again at Badminton next month.