Oliver’s mastery at Blair Castle

It's back in business for the New Zealand eventers after the rollercoaster of Rio, competing at the latest leg of the Event Riders Masters series at Blair Castle in Scotland

Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo take their second consecutive win in the CIC3* Event Rider Masters at 2016 Blair Castle Interntional Horse Trial (Image: Libby Law)
Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo take their second consecutive win in the CIC3* Event Rider Masters at 2016 Blair Castle International Horse Trial (Image: Libby Law)

Oliver Townend had another victory in the Event Rider Masters class at the Blair Castle Horse Trials in Scotland over the weekend, becoming the first rider to have two wins in the series. He was riding Cillnabradden Evo, who was previously ridden by Andrew Nicholson, and they finished 10 penalties in front of their nearest rival, Tom McEwan on Diesel.

Celebrations for Oliver (Image: Libby Law)
Celebrations for Oliver (Image: Libby Law)

Bettina Hoy had led after the dressage, but had two rails and a time fault in the show jumping and was in second position after those two phases. However, a run-out on the cross-country with Seigneur Medicott put her out of contention.

Jonelle Price had just 4.8 time faults on Cloud Dancer to finish in fourth spot.

Jonelle Price and Cloud Dancer (Image: Libby Law)
Jonelle Price and Cloud Dancer (Image: Libby Law)

Tim Price had the only clear round within the time and he finished ninth on Xavier Faer.

Tim Price and Xavier Faer (Image: Libby Law)
Tim Price and Xavier Faer (Image: Libby Law)

Dan Jocelyn was 10th on Phoenix L and Lucy Jackson on Bosun was 11th.

Dan Jocelyn and Phoenix L (Image: Libby Law)
Dan Jocelyn and Phoenix L (Image: Libby Law)
Lucy Jackson and Bosun II (IMage: Libby Law)
Lucy Jackson and Bosun II (Image: Libby Law)

Unfortunately, Blyth and Xanthus took out a flag on cross-country and were judged to have jumped on the wrong side of it, so elected to retire at that point. They had earlier produced one of the few clear rounds in the show jumping.

Blyth Tait and Xanthus III (Image: Libby Law)
Blyth Tait and Xanthus III (Image: Libby Law)

Jock Paget (Angus Blue) found himself embroiled in controversy, going from the leader’s seat to elimination, being reinstated, then being re-eliminated after the ground jury spent some time looking at videos. He was judged to have passed the wrong side of a flag at the influential double of triple brushes at fence 14a. He had been within the time too.

Jock Paget and Angus Blue (Image: Libby Law)
Jock Paget and Angus Blue: embroiled in controversy (Image: Libby Law)

There is just one more leg of the Event Rider Masters series to go: Blenheim. There’s a tussle at the top with Paul Tapner, Jonelle Price, Gemma Tattersall and Oliver Townend all with the opportunity to take out the series win.

In the other classes, Jonelle had a great time, finishing second in the CCI2* on Kindred Spirit and winning the CCI1* on Obos Impressive, beating Jock Paget on Optimus Prime II.

Jonelle and Kindred Spirit II (Image: Libby Law)
Jonelle and Kindred Spirit II (Image: Libby Law)

Jock was also seventh on Zazu.  Tim Price was 11th on Smooth Emperor.

It was good to see Lizzie Green (nee Brown)’s former ride Henton Attorney General competing there, finishing 10th with his young rider, Rosa Onslow.

Rosa Onslow and Henton Attorney General (Image: Libby Law)
Rosa Onslow and Henton Attorney General (Image: Libby Law)