Last spring, Oliver Townend put a stop to Michael Jung's three-year winning streak at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Mars Equestrian. Now, the world No. 1 has proven himself the new king of Kentucky, winning the Western Hemisphere's only CCI5*-L for the second consecutive year.
After taking an early lead in dressage, Oliver and Cooley Master Class never relinquished their position. Laser-like focus and relentless grit saw them through a tough cross-country challenge Saturday. In the final phase, they show jumped under pressure with the necessity of a clear round to win.
One of the first to congratulate Oli was fellow competitor and second place finisher, Boyd Martin, who won the USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship as the highest placed American, a title that had previously been missing from his long list of accolades.
Boyd and his 2018 World Equestrian Games mount, Tsetserleg, nipped around Derek di Grazia's cross-country course for the fastest time of the day and ultimately finished on their dressage score — one of only two pairs in the competition to do so.
Oli will now turn his attention to this weekend's Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and undoubtedly has his sights set on the elusive Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, a victory that has long eluded the decorated Brit.
Feature photo by Shannon Brinkman.
Written by Leslie Threlkeld
Having grown up on horseback, Leslie Threlkeld, Managing Editor at NOËLLE FLOYD, treasures her career in the equestrian industry as a writer, photographer, and eventing technical delegate. Leslie thrives on frequent travel but never tires of returning home to the serene mountains of North Carolina.