RIDER OF THE DAY: Oliver Townend - 26 September 2011
Shropshire-based Townend was the winner of the inaugural Express Eventing in 2008 and was runner-up at the Express Eventing Qualifiers at the Bolesworth Castle Showjumping Classic and at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park. He is a previous winner of both the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. He has also represented Great Britain.
TWENTY QUESTIONS WITH.....Oliver Townend
1. How old were you when you started riding, who introduced you to riding and which was your first horse? I was Seven, and it was my father who introduces me. My first pony was called Brambles.
2. How did you choose the music for the dressage to music phase? The music I’ve used so far has been that I used for Express Eventing in 2008 when I won. It was chosen by well known dressage trainer Ian Woodhead.
3. Do you think horses enjoy the music, and do you feel it makes a difference to their/your performance? I think the music can definitely help some horses, but for others the excitement can send them over the edge.
4. How much practice did the dressage to music phase take? Initially it takes a lot of practice, but once you know your music it’s not too much of a problem.
5. What has been your most memorable moment of the Express Eventing Series so far? For me, competing in the 2008 event, and winning, was a huge moment.
6. Who would be in your dream multi-national Olympic eventing team?
Andrew Nicolson, Piggy French, Mark Todd and Myself!
7. Do you reward your horses for a good performance and, if so, how?
They’re rewarded with lots of pats, treats and a few days off.
8. What has been the highlight of your career to date and why?
The 2008/2009 season has been my highlight so far, with my Badminton, Burghley and Express Eventing wins.
9. What was your favourite subject at school and why?
It would have to be Business Studies, because it’s something I could use in later years.
10. If you weren’t a professional event rider what would you like to do?
I’d say a Formula One driver, or if not that, definitely something in sport.
11. What would you most like to win that you haven’t already?
Every 4* International event and World Championship!
12. What is your favourite holiday destination?
13. Which horse would you most like to have had the opportunity to compete on and why?
It would have to be Lead The Way, he’s a fantastic athlete of a horse.
14. When did you last fall off?
Burghley this year
15. Do you have any pets at home?
Colin the cat
16. What’s your favourite meal – and can you cook it?
Pie’s are my favourite, but I’m not a great cook!
17. Do you have any lucky charms or superstitions?
I’m not really superstitious
18. What’s your favourite one-day event?
Weston Park, because it’s near to home, or the British Championships at Gatcombe
19. What are you most looking forward to at the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
20. Who are you tipping to win the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
WATCH OLIVER'S DRESSAGE TO MUSIC AT THE FESTIVAL OF BRITISH EVENTING QUALIFIER BY CLICKING HERE.
WATCH OLIVER'S INTERVIEW AT THE BOLESWORTH CLASSIC QUALIFIER BY CLICKING HERE.
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