‘He gave me a fantastic ride'
Horse & Hound|August 26, 2021
Oliver Townend sings the praises of “high-class” Tregilder as they win on their dressage score, and a final competition outing ends in triumph for one university-bound rider
JO PRESTWICH

Baileys Horse Feeds Somerford Park, Cheshire

OLIVER TOWNEND and Tregilder put in a foot-perfect performance to win the Baileys Horse Feeds CCI3*-S on their dressage score of 26.6, one of only two combinations to achieve the feat, the other being Piggy March in third with Cooley Goodwood.

“He had a bit of a wobble at Houghton, so he’s had a couple of confidence-giving runs and is heading for the five-star at Bicton,” explained Oliver of the horse belonging to the Hazeldine's and Mitchell Fox Group.

“He’s a high-class horse I think a lot of and he gave me a fantastic ride round here. What a special event – everything is done foremost for horse and rider and the rest just slots into place behind that. The facilities are amazing, but the organization and team behind it are just as good.”

Oliver was last to go round the brilliant David Evans track, overtaking long-time leader Sam Lissington and her home-bred Ricker Ridge Ricochet. Sam, who made the long trip from New Zealand in 2019 with four horses, is aiming the mare at Osberton to finish the season.

“When I was moving to the UK, I hadn’t planned on bringing her. With home-birds you don’t know how special they are, but a couple of people asked why I wasn’t taking her, so I did,” said Sam. “She’s kept on improving and ticks all the right boxes. I love her.

“It’s the first time I’ve been to Somerford but it won’t be the last. They did a great job keeping going, the ground was as good as it could be and the tracks were great – challenging but confidence giving at the same time.”

Oliver could hardly have started the weekend better, winning section E of the open intermediate (OI) with Paul and Diana Ridgeon’s Swallow Springs. The event was the first time he’d sat on the horse, who has been ridden to five-star level by Andrew Nicholson.

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