Oliver Townend Wins Second Leg of Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing; Will Seek To Become Second Rider Ever to Complete Slam at 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event
RELEASE: September 24, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Classic Communications
Oliver Townend of Great Britain is poised to achieve what only one other event rider in the world has ever done, claim the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.
In September of 2003, Pippa Funnell of Great Britain became the first rider in history to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing when she rode Primmore's Pride to victory at the Burghley Horse Trials in England following back-to-back wins in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in April aboard Primmore's Pride and the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in May aboard Supreme Rock. Funnell completed her sweep of the three CCI**** events at Burghley to win $250,000, the purse at that time, and a Pink Gold 18-carat Datejust Rolex watch. The payoff was the largest in eventing history.
Townend, 26, claimed a victory in May in the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials aboard Flint Curtis and in September won another leg of the Rolex Grand Slam when he and Carousel Quest bested a field of 49 to win the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Carousel Quest placed eighth at Rolex Kentucky last spring. It was the first four-star outing for Townend and Carousel Quest as a pair and served as another indication of how Rolex Kentucky and its courses designed by Mike Etherington-Smith continue to build champions.
"We all took note when this young combination of Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest performed so well at Rolex Kentucky last spring," said Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Director Jane Atkinson. "Mike Etherington-Smith has a unique ability to bring out the talent in young horses and help them develop, and we can't wait to welcome back Ollie and Carousel Quest next spring as the new Burghley Champions!"
Townend's success comes as no surprise. His father rode at Burghley and his mother showed sidesaddle at the county level so it was not unexpected that success came early for him in the form of a place on the Pony Eventing Team and countless show jumping victories. Now, with two major four-star wins, he is poised to take his place in eventing history.
Will he be able to join Pippa Funnell as the only riders to sweep the Rolex Grand Slam? We will find out at the 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event next April 22-25.
Further information on the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is available at the Rolex Kentucky website at www.rk3de.org