The 2020 British Olympic team gold medallist Oliver Townend (39), who is based near Ellesmere in Shropshire, is a former winner of Badminton (2009) and has achieved 17 completions of the event. In 2022 he was third here with Swallow Springs and 5th with Ballghmor Class – both are entered this year also. It will be first at the level for Cooley Rosalent – 2nd in the 4*L at Blair Castle last year.
In 2019 he was second here with his 2017 Burghley winner Ballaghmor Class – with who he won Lexington in May 2021 before riding to team gold in Tokyo (5th). The pair was a member of the British team for the 2022 World Championship in Pratoni.
One of the busiest riders on the circuit, he is currently ranked #4 in the FEI world rider ranking (20/03/23) and at the end of 2022 was the leading rider in the BE top rider ranking.
Oliver began riding when he was seven years old, inheriting his love of horses from his parents. His father, Alan, competed in three-day eventing, while mother, Eve, showed side-saddle at county level. His first success came in show jumping at HOYS when he was 11, and at 13 he went on to represent Britain on the pony eventing team at the European Championships. Oliver quickly moved through the ranks and for three years was stable jockey to former British team trainer, the late Kenneth Clawson in Leicestershire before going solo.
Oliver’s good result at his first Badminton in 2005 with Topping earned them an individual place on the 2005 British European Championship squad at Blenheim. With Flint Curtis, Oliver came third at Badminton in 2006 and rode as an individual at the Aachen WEG in the same year. In 2007 he won a European team gold in Pratoni del Vivaro. In 2009 Oliver joined the elite group of riders who have won back-to-back Badminton and Burghley titles. That year he also won the HSBC FEI Classics title and at the end of the 2009 season was top of the BE rider rankings for the first time. In 2014, with Black Tie, he was an individual member of the British Squad for the WEG in France but retired cross country. In 2015 he completed Burghley with three horses and with Fenyas Elegance represented GB at the European Championships at Blair Castle. In 2016 he became National Champion after winning the British Open at Gatcombe and in 2017 was a member of the British gold-medal winning British team at the European Championships at Strzegom (Cooley SRS). In 2019 with Cooley Master Class, with who he has won Lexington 5* twice (2018 & ’19) he was a member of the British team to win silver at the European championships.
Cooley Rosalent owned by Paul Ridgeon is a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare. Bred by JW Rosbotham she is by Valent out of Bellaney Jewel by Roselier. In 2020 with Ollie she was 2nd in the World 6-year-old championship and the following year 7th in the 7-year-old class. In 2022 the combination was 2nd in the 4*L at Blair Castle. Badminton is her first 5*.
Ballaghmor Class (aka Thomas) is a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. He is by Courage (also the sire of Ringwood Sky Boy, Cooley Rorkes Drift, Duke of Cavan) out of Kilderry Place. He has been ridden by Oliver since 2012 – the pair has won Burghley (2017), Lexington (2021) and team gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games. In 2019 the pair was 2nd at Badminton and in 2022 5th.
Swallow Springs, owned by Paul & Diana Ridgeon, is a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse grey gelding. Bred by Maria Keating his is by Chill Out (sire of Bonza King of Rouge) of a mare by the thoroughbred Cult Hero (sire of several four-star horses including The Deputy and Bay My Hero). He was previously produced and ridden by Andrew Nicholson – Oliver received the ride in 2021 after Andrew’s retirement from international competition.
He was originally acquired from Donal Barnwell as a five-year-old. With Andrew he was 3rd at Burghley in 2018 and in 2019 the pair was 5th at Badminton. In 2022 with Oliver he was 3rd at Badminton.
Tregilder owned by The Hazeldines and Mitchell Fox Group is a 13-year-old British-bred SHB(GB) registered gelding. Bred by Preci-Spark Ltd he is by Royal Concorde out of Trewins by Hand in Glove. He has been produced through the levels by Oliver. In 2021 the pair was 7th in the 5* at Bicton the first at the level for Tregilder.
As Is owned by John Peace is a 12-year-old Spanish-bred CDE (Spanish sport horse) registered gelding. He is by the thoroughbred Meneusekal out of Paraca by Lacros. He was produced by Andrew Nicholson – the pair was 5th in the 4*L at Blenheim in 2019. Ollie acquired the ride from Andrew after his retirement from competition. In 2022 with Ollie he was 3rd in the 5* at Elkton (USA) his first at the level.
16.2hh , grey , gelding
Breeder Noel Hickey
16.2hh , black , gelding
Sire S Creevagh Farro
Dam Willow Garden (King Henry)
Owner(s): Sally-Anne Egginton, Newton Abbot, Devon
Cooley Master Class
16.2hh , bay , gelding
Sire Ramiro B
Dam The Swallow (Master Imp )
Breeder John Hagan
Owner(s): Angela Hislop
16.2hh , bay , gelding
Dam Emeroude Du Ponet (Un Armour IV )
Owner(s): Paul & Diana Ridgeon, Haslingfield, Cambs.