Ollie Townend aims for $500,000 eventing Grand Slam

September 8, 2009

Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest at Fence 14 - Rolex Combination, Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2009. © Kit Houghton

Fresh from winning both Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials, Oliver Townend has only one major competition to win to take out eventing's $US350,000 ($NZ505,000) Rolex Grand Slam.

In order to win the prestigious Grand Slam, the rider must win the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, all in succession.The only other rider to have achieved the feat is Pippa Funnell, who won all three competitions in 2003 on two different horses.

"I intend to go all out for it!" Townend said after winning Burghley at the weekend.

Townend won Badminton on Flint Curtis and Burghley on Carousel Quest, and he is now in the enviable position of having two very good horses to choose from in his Grand Slam quest, and in next year's World Equestrian Games, also in Kentucky.

In January 2008, Rolex announced that any rider who can duplicate Pippa Funnell's achievement will win an increased prize of $US350,000.

The next renewal of the Kentucky event runs from April 22-25.