Oliver Townend has won the 5* Land Rover Kentucky three day event in the USA. Oliver won the 5*L riding Ballaghmor Class.
Oliver’s other ride Cooley Master Class was turned away during the final trot up. Speaking after the trot up Oliver said “he’s picked up a cut that he’s sore on but at the same time I’ve hopped on him and given him a little ride this morning. He’s sound to ride and very fresh. He’s well in himself. I’ve no doubt he would jump very well but unfortunately he didn’t present well. Obviously the welfare of the horse is paramount in our sport. That’s [the ground jury’s] decision to make. That’s their job to decide. It’s very sad for him and very sad for the team, but he’s still in one piece. It’s more of a frustration than anything else but he’s 100%.”
Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class started the competition on a score of 27.3 and went clean within the time cross country despit Ballaghmor Class loosing a shoe early on meaning the combination had to run most of the course with only 3 shoes. Going into the show jumping the pressure was on Oliver when New Zealands Tim Price and Jonelle Price both jumping a clear round with Jonelle just adding a 0.4 time penalty. However Oliver Townend kept his cool and also went on to jump a super clear within the time.
Speaking after the event Oliver said “I’m never good in these situations because I’m extremely emotional, but to be here is just so special for me. And it’s such a huge team effort both on your side and on my side. And for us to come together and enjoy such an amazing sport, in the best venue in the world, is very special to me. Basically everything has gone against him this week. And it’s as you know it’s incredible horses that can have everything go against them and still come out on top. He’s a fighter, he’s tough. He’s an out-and-out professional and thank God he’s got me on his back to enjoy these moments.”
Oliver has now won Kentucky 3 times in 2018, 2019 and 2021. The competition didnt run in 2020 due to the coronavirus world pandemic. Oliver has now won won six five-star titles, including Burghley twice and Badminton in 2009.