Eventing

Oliver Townend Seizes the World #1 Throne

©Smudge 9000/Flickr CC

First, it was the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington. Now it’s the Longines World Rankings.

In the span of a week, Oliver Townend (GBR) has twice moved into Michael Jung territory and dethroned the German wonder.

Jung, the reigning Olympic champion, has held the top spot on the World Rankings for nearly three years (since the middle of 2015), which by speculated estimates is a really long time and probably a record of some sorts.

But, like all good things, his lengthy reign has come to an end.

Thirty-five-year-old Townend has seized the number one slot following his thrilling victory with Cooley Master Class at the Lexington (USA) CCI4* last weekend.

It’s the second time that the three-time FEI European Championship team gold medalist has sat atop the world rankings. He was briefly world number one in 2009, the same year he won the Badminton (GBR) CCI4* and Burghley (GBR) CCI4* titles.

“It’s very good. I like the sound of that!” said Townend of his new number one status.

“It has been a while. I only had a fleeting spell as number one once upon a time, and especially to knock someone off who has been there for so long is very, very good.”

Jung, who came second to Townend at Lexington, is now at number two, a mere one ranking point behind. Tim Price (NZL) sits in third. Gemma Tattersall (GBR), fourth and Ros Canter, (GBR) fifth.

Following his win in Kentucky, Townend is now in the running to win the Rolex Grand Slam in Badminton this weekend for consecutive victories at Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton. If he’s successful, he’ll become the third eventer in history to capture the title, following in the footsteps of Jung and Pippa Funnell (GBR).

Click on the link for the latest FEI World Eventing Rankings.