Oliver Townend proved why he is ranked number 1 in the world in the FEI rankings at Kelsall Hill 1 with a stunning display of form.
Oliver, who’s based locally, was riding Cillnabradden Evo owned by Mrs Sally-Anne Egginton won the Advanced Intermediate section kindly sponsored by Istanbul BBQ Chester, winning The Mr and Mrs Winton Memorial Trophy and the £1000 first prize. Not only did he do that but he also managed to come third in the same class on Ballaghmoor Class who went on to come 5th at Badminton and he came first and second in the Open Intermediate section sponsored by Equine 74, on Ulises and Tregilder and second in the Intermediate to add to the weekends tally of successes. “I’m thrilled with the performances of horses, this event is second to none for me and one of the best events in the country”.
Michael Owen who won last year on Jims Pal had to settle for 10th place this time.
The weather took a turn for the better and the event was bathed in glorious sunshine throughout almost the entire weekend prompting questions about how often the organising team went to church.
Land owner or joint organiser, Phil Latham said, “we’ve never had to cancel yet but this was a close run thing and we were delighted to be able to run in such fabulous conditions, it was quite a turn up and we managed to adjust our dressage area to accommodate enough arenas to ensure the footing was good”.
Authur Duffort who came second in the Advanced Intermediate praised the event for the good ground and for the great viewing that’s on offer for owners,
“there aren’t many events where owners can see almost the entire cross country unless there’s a big screen at an international so it’s great to bring owners along to see their horses ride almost the entire course.”
The intermediate sections brought a first class field forward with many international and nationally competitive rider combinations. Nicola Wilson won intermediate section L sponsored by Delamere Manor Events, riding JL Dublin and another local rider Hayden Hankey won the Afford Bond Chartered Accountants, section M riding Oaken Eddie.
Co-organiser Jane Whitaker said “my heart goes out to all the events that have not been so lucky as before our event only 2 out of 15 scheduled events in April have managed to run successfully, we’re really pleased with the way the event ran and would like to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and time over the weekend, without them we wouldn’t be able to lay on such a great sporting event. We look forward to seeing everyone in September when we’ll hold the BE80 Championships for the first time.
Kelsall Hill’s next British Eventing fixture will run from 21-23 September 2018. More: www.kelsallhill.co.uk