Here are some snippets from Oliver’s diary – which can be read in full in his Members area (https://www.olivertownend.com/olivers-members-club/).
Diary: 1st June
Badminton: …nearly got caught up in the Grass Roots cross country when I set off to work Armada after the trot up. I quickly re-routed. Armada did NOT need to see or hear cross country before dressage day!… worked in well but made 3 big mistakes in the test… As number 1, the good thing was going into the lead (!), the bad thing was 2 whole days of watching people go in front of me, which made me very difficult to live with… Cross country day couldn’t come quick enough… Armada cruised it – but as predicted so did a lot of other people… Unfortunately I was second to show jump after the parade which left Armada walking round, getting hotter and hotter with the band and the crowd noise in the background… and it came undone in the ring.
Chatsworth: …always a big deal for novices… Garrybritt Daisy, won her class…. best moment of the weekend was when Val and Peter Ryan’s Imperial Master placed 2nd in the main CIC3*… We went in reverse order for the show jumping and he did a round that made me feel like Marcus Ehning. He’s a horse that has so much talent, but he needs to want to do it on the day. Let’s hope he want’s to do it again at Luhmuhlen!
Rockingham Castle: …beautiful grounds and serious courses… Angela Hislop’s Cooley SRS was beaten in to second place by 1 second in a Novice… best result of the Sunday was a catch ride on Dunbeau… Annoyingly I lost the class by going too fast…
Saumur:… Black Tie was showing symptoms of travel sickness – luckily Steven was on to it…. Neo du Breuil did a good test on day 1, then Black Tie was =5th at the end of Friday… the course was very big and technical, from start to finish…. With Black Tie the plan was to pull up if I was in any doubt about how he felt – but he went straight everywhere and up into 3rd… We walked the biggest 3* show jump track I have ever seen. Neo was enthusiastic but had a couple, Black Tie didn’t touch the first 8… but then had 4 down… I think the week caught up with him…
Tattersalls: …Cross country day was mixed… Sandiman proved a dream when he roared around inside the time – and then Cooley Master Class did the same, moving up to second and third respectively… Sunday morning came very fast – it is a 7:30am trot up and you don’t get off the cross country until 7:30pm the night before… Sandiman spooked at the planks and literally went through them but we made a quick recovery and the rest of the course stayed up leaving us in 5th. Cooley Master Class was fantastic from start to finish and jumped a super clear round, finishing in 2nd place.
Diary: 1st May
Stallion Open Day at Harthill: …a great day – for people looking for a stallion it’s always good to see them in the flesh when choosing what will suit your mare.
Weston Park: …I had a better day in the show jumping on the Sunday, with 5 clears from the Advanced horses who could cope with the conditions better… Nina’s Douglas and Angela Hislop’s Outside Chance stepped up to the plate and won an Advanced section each.
Aston-le-Walls: …where the Taylors had yet again come to the rescue… frustratingly we were bridesmaid 3 times with Garrybritt Daisy, Cooley Ramiro and Ballaghmor Class.
Belton Park: …Bill and Linda Bowen’s Sandiman went very well in the 2* for 4th… ODT Sonas Rovatio jumped his heart out to take 4th place in the Grantham Cup CIC3*… Meanwhile ODT Ghareeb had a fantastic 2 days, winning one of the Advanced sections under the watchful eye of both Kathleen and John.
Ballindenisk: …Angela’s Cooley Master Class led throughout and finishing on his dressage score in the CCI2*. Karyn’s Black Tie suffered from the draw and was last to go, …the ground was like a ploughed field, but he still finished 2nd. Douglas won the CIC3*… it didn’t always feel pretty but I wasn’t alone in that.
Bradwall: …Honour Cruise placed 5th, as did Andrew Cawthray’s Peruising. Ballaghmore Class was 3rd, Cooley SRS 4th – and best of all, Hollins Hall had a fantastic win in his second run of the season. So 5 in the top 5… I wish every day was like that!
Diary: 1st April
Aston-le-Walls: My first outing of the year was with the babies. Steven was fantastic as our new travelling groom and it was good to get the first day out under our belts…
Isleham: …for once blessed by the weather gods! A new ride for me, Some Spring owned by Angela Hislop, had its first run finishing 3rd… The Lawton’s Shearwater Touchingwood had a life at the first water when my air jacket went off but we regrouped to finish 5th…. Isleham had definitely beefed up the course and it was a pretty tough start to the season…
Tweseldown: …a very early start – and when we got there Steven got stuck turning the lorry around. Val Ryan’s Imperial Master had a great start to the season finishing second in an OI and Nina’s Harthill Percy was a star again, 2nd in his Intermediate…
Oasby: …trying to walk the course was near impossible as I literally couldn’t see the next jump… The fog hardly lifted all day, ODT Sonas Rovatio finished second in his OI section Karyn’s Black Tie just tipped 1 rail, costing him a win, instead finishing 4th…
Somerford Park: …I gave the babies another run. I was restricted to riding 3, who all finished in the top 10…
Lincolnshire: …The babies were first, with Ballaghmor Class winning, Killossery Cooley 2nd and Red Andes Fanfare 4th… Cooley SRS had a great first novice, winning for Angela… Despite snow, sleet, rain and wind as well as a lot of mud, the event continued for the big boys… ODT Ghareeb jumped fantastically out of the mud and finished on top for a well deserved win…
Great Witchingham: …one of the coldest days I have ever experienced in eventing. Luckily it was worth going because Angela Hislop’s Outside Chance won the AI and Andrew Cawthray’s ODT Quizzical won the OI…
Burnham Market: … novices… we finished up with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. On Intermediate day Harthill Percy gave Nina another win… Cooley Master Class did his dressage test in a snow storm… Armada placed 6th in a very big competitive 3* class… My team did a fantastic job, as with 15 horses running over the weekend it was a logistical nightmare and I couldn’t do it without all their help.
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Oliver Townend Eventing Ltd
Gadlas Farm, Eastwick Lane
Dudleston Heath, Ellesmere
Shropshire, SY12 9DY
Mobile: +44 (0) 7776 206 950
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