OLIVER TOWNEND completed British eventing’s most prestigious double – and landed himself another bumper pay-day in the process.
Former Holme Valley Riding Club member Townend and Carousel Quest captured the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials title just four months after winning Badminton on his other star horse, Flint Curtis.
The Yorkshireman became only the third rider since 1988 to scoop both top prizes in one year, emulating Ginny Leng and latterly Pippa Funnell, who achieved it six years ago.
Townend, 26, has found imperious form heading towards the European Championships in France later this month, when he is part of a Great Britain team that defends its title.
The Yorkshireman never looked back once he had recorded a superb dressage test of just 39.8 penalties, winning by an emphatic margin from fellow British rider Polly Stockton (Westwood Poser), with Australian Sam Griffiths (Happy Times) third.
Townend went into the showjumping phase knowing he could afford to have at least one fence down and still triumph, but a clear round merely confirmed his supremacy.
The £50,000 first prize followed £60,000 he scooped at Badminton, plus a £100,000 jackpot from winning last year’s inaugural Express Eventing competition in Cardiff.
Townend also has a clear lead in the HSBC Classics, which carries a top prize of £92,000.
Burghley was the fourth of five events in that series, which concludes in Pau, south-west France next month.
And Townend has now extended his overall lead, as his closest rival – Great Britain team-mate William Fox-Pitt – finished sixth aboard Seacookie.
"He is a class horse," said Townend, reflecting on Carousel Quest’s dominant display.
"To be honest, I am still celebrating Badminton. To win Burghley as well is simply just amazing – there is no point in saying anything else."
Townend will now switch his attention to Fontainebleau, where European team and individual gold is a realistic target.
Stockton, meanwhile, clinched an impressive second place, and Griffiths followed up a third spot at Badminton with another podium finish.
"I knew he had the ability to do well," said Stockton, of Westwood Poser’s runners-up result.
"But I did wonder if Burghley was a big ask for him, but he just got stuck in and I can’t quite believe how far he came up (the leaderboard)."
Zara Phillips and Glenbuck completed a solid Burghley effort by finishing 22nd overall.