Posted by on October 16, 2011

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Oliver TownendOliver TownendOliver Townend

Hi All,

Well lots to report on this month. Blenheim was fun with both Arctic Mouse and Gorsehill Star doing really well in their first CIC3*s – they were both clear across country and just had one rail down apiece so not much to complain about there. Pepper Anne was a star in the CCI3*, double clear and only just out of the ribbons in 11th. Nina and I then flew out to the Gorsebridge Sales where we bought six nice three year olds, hopefully future superstars!

I had some good placings at Purston Manor with the Novices, and then took a group of BE100 horses to Allerton – it was a ‘boys only’ trip, me and Steven. It’s not often we get let out on our own, and we surprised everyone by getting there and back with no dramas.

Burnham Market Intermediate Day was very successful, Lord Limmerick wining his section, ODT Quizzical finishing 2nd, Nina’s Beca picking up a 3rd and Victoria Hazeldine’s Belmont Virlandie finishing 4th in an OI. As exciting was that Steven had his first affiliated eventing win in the Intermediate Novice section on ODT Ballinclover. He was so wrapped! After Clover got kicked through the stable wall at Blair Castle and couldn’t even do the dressage it was nice to see them in action. I then flew out to Ireland again to have a look at a couple of horses – the result of that trip is due to arrive at the yard shortly.

You might have seen the Horse & Hound cover before HOYS – it was shot at Tim Stockdale’s Yard. One of Tim’s young show jumpers was an impeccable model, unlike his dogs who got very excited when a rosette was waved to get the horse’s ears forward… at one point stealing it and taking off across the yard. Did the trick on the ears though!

Next stop was Yvette & Roy Moed’s farm in Berkshire for some stick and balling ahead of a polo match. Yvette is a keen dressage owner and owned Kyra Kirkland’s top horse. The Moed’s hosted an amazing BBQ in the evening and between everyone, including the professional polo players, there were some entertaining stories…. The match itself the next morning was very competitive – Andrew Hoy and I were marking each other so there were lots of laughs and lots of speed but not much hitting of the ball. We all survived though, and want to do it again!

The following day Karyn and I drove down to Derby House, where they had a fabulous fashion show which included showcasing the new Townend Range, and the hospitality was brilliant. It was then straight on to Moreton Morrell with the Novices, where they all jumped really well. Imperial Lieutenant was competing for the first time at Novice level and managed to pull off a win and Black Tie finished 5th in the Open Novice. The Intermediates went well at Aske but I didn’t run them all across country, and those I did run I took steady because the ground wasn’t great. Closer to home Kelsall Hill was a fun event where the less experienced horses had a good day.

Countrywide Stores, who supply us with shavings, then had me down at their Ledbury store for an interview and photos which was fun. They are a great supporter of us and it’s always good to meet up, and also meet some of their customers.

Osberton was a great success – ODT Ghareeb finished 3rd in the 1*, Lord Limmerick 5th and Quizzical 9th. Beca, had an unlucky 20 on the cross country but still gained her qualifier, which was the objective, and both Nina and Steven finished in the money in the 1* on their respective horse, making it a very good week. JP Sheffield took Arctic Mouse back from Osberton to his place, along with Anke from Germany and all the tack in preparation for the Boekelo trip as they were leaving the following evening to allow the horses plenty of time to settle in.

Meanwhile I was at the Horse of The Year Show for the Express Eventing Final. I took Brigadier, who performed brilliantly, but was unfortunate with the last 2 fences in the show jumping so finished 6th overall. It was still a very good effort for the horse’s first attempt at Express Eventing, which is quite a specialist class.

There was a very good party after the show, and the following morning I flew out to Amsterdam with Greg and Fiona Hobby, and on to Boekelo. Mouse was feeling really good and apart from a green run out at fence 7 he ate up the course. He had performed a very good test on Friday and jumped a super round on Sunday so I’m excited about his future: I have great support from owners Tamara, Garth and Amanda Davies, which I really appreciate. Boekelo was so well supported this year, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger, with teams of crowds even in the pouring rain, it’s like a mini Badminton.

We drove back on Sunday night and got home Monday morning. Luckily it’s been a quieter week this week – I’m not at Pau, but instead have a couple of late entries at Oasby. It’s hard to believe the season is nearly over.

I hope most of you are coming to the Open Day here at Gadlas. Nina is bringing the Townend Online range to show you and some sponsors might be there too. The itinerary is below, and I will have the details put on the website too:

10:00  – Coffee
10:30 – Oliver (Talk) & Yard Tour
11:10 – Nina Barbour (Talk)   Harthill Stud
11:30 – Oliver ~ RIDE / DEMO
12:30 – LUNCH
(Questions & Answers) Signings
14:30 – Finish @ Gadlas Farm

See you there!


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