The 2022 Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials served up three days of superb sport this week (14-16 April), all bathed in the glorious Norfolk sunshine with the welcome return of an appreciative crowd.
World number one and Tokyo team gold medallist, Oliver Townend has further sealed his position as the undisputed King of Burnham Market by adding two more CCI-S 4* wins to his tally – making it a remarkable 15 wins in the headline 4* classes at the event.
In CCI-S 4* Section B, Oliver not only took the win with Mark and Angela Chamberlayne’s lovely gelding Dreamliner jumping a fluent round over the formidable Alec Lochore designed course, but also the runner spot with Tregilder, owned by the Hazeldines and Mitchell Fox Group. Izzy Taylor and Hartacker completed the top three in this section.
Oliver Townend and Dreamliner (image, Tim Wilkinson, Eventing Images)
Oliver’s win in CCI-S 4* Section C was not quite so easily gained. A superb cross country round from Tom McEwen, fellow 2020 Olympic gold medallist, riding Bob Chaplin put him on a score of 26.4, just ahead of Piggy March and her double European Championships medallist, Brookfield Inocent (26.9). Tom’s score left Oliver and Diana and Paul Ridgeon’s Swallow Springs able to be four seconds over the optimum time but not five. As Oliver crossed the finish line the clock read four seconds over the optimum time – judged, you might say, to perfection.
Oliver on his way to 4* victory number two, with Swallow Springs (image, Tim Wilkinson, Eventing Images)
“Dreamliner and Tregilder were ready to be competitive here,” said Oliver. “Ballaghmor Class was here for a preparation run, as was Swallow Springs – but obviously Swallow Springs was in a position to win going into cross country and he is naturally an incredibly fast horse, so he loped around very easily and thank god I judged it right. He won by one second so I couldn’t have gone any slower and won!
“It was a big step forward for Dreamliner and Tregilder in terms of performance and we are very pleased with Ballaghmor Class’s preparation for Badminton.”
Tom McEwen may just have been pipped to the post the CCI-S 4* but there were no near misses in the CCI-S 3* (Section A). One of the first to go in the class on Thursday morning with Alison Swinburn and John and Chloe Perry’s Brookfield Benjamin Bounce, he set a fantastic score of 24.2 that could not be matched. Two faultless jumping rounds completed a really impressive performance.
3* winners, Tom McEwen and Brookfield Benjamin Bounce (image, Tim Wilkinson, Eventing Images)
“We went in second on Thursday morning and he has led from start to finish, so not bad for going in second out of one hundred horses,” said Tom. “We’re delighted with him. He jumped some amazing rounds today and flew around the cross country. He’s ten years old now, so it’s all moving forward.”
Mark Davidson and Cooley Goodwood took the second spot, completing on their dressage score of 28.7 and Flora Harris and Class Vista, third (29.3).
The conclusion of the international classes completed three days of competition, which also included plenty of national class – a highlight of which was a hotly contested Advance section, won by Bubby Upton and Cannavaro.
Full results from across all the days are available here.
All the action from Friday and Saturday is available on catch up via your mobile, tablet, TV or desktop with H&C+. Visit the Horse & Country website to find out more.