Oliver Townend makes his mark on day one at the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing
Oliver Townend has well and truly stamped his influence on day one at the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, with first, second and third place in the Evelyn Partners British Intermediate Championship class.
In first place with a score of 24.9 with Finley Du Loir, last year’s winner of the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship at The Festival. The 8-year-old gelding owned by Caunton Stud started his affiliated eventing career last year and in only his second run he won at Great Witchingham in the Novice. Following less than a penalty point behind on his second ride, Crazy Du Loir, and then just as close in third with Caunton First Class. Both mares are also Caunton Stud horses, which Oliver took over the ride after agreeing a significant deal with the stud, becoming the official rider for them in 2021.
In the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship dressage, Jason Wood is holding the top spot with Nitor, a ten-year-old gelding by Fuerst Romancier out of Dechada. Owned by Alexandra and Charles Lloyd, Nitor started his eventing career with Alexander Whewall before Jason took the ride in May 2022. Jason hasn’t travelled far to compete this weekend as he is based at Zara Tindall’s yard and even used to compete her Gatcombe ride Classicals Euro Star. With a score of 22.7, they sit 3.9 penalties ahead of second placed En Taro Des Vernier ridden by the very busy Oliver Townend.
Megan Brown on the diminutive 15.3, 16-year-old bay gelding Don Stefano is lying in first place after the dressage phase of the RoR/NTF Retrained Racehorse Event Horse Championship with a score of 30.7. Having only raced lightly, Don Stefano ran his final race in early 2011 and has since produced consistent results in eventing. We are looking forward to watching this pair jump the coloured poles and go cross country tomorrow.
The TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup is led at the end of day one by Eloise Van Praagh on Lough Derg Joe. The 10-year-old grey gelding stepped up to Novice this year following his appearance at the Voltaire Grassroots BE100 Championship at Badminton in May 2023.
The dressage phase for the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship and the TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup continue tomorrow and show jumping will start in the main arena from 8.00am and cross country from 10.30am.
Jason Wood after his dressage test on Nitor debriefing with Zara Tindall.