Oliver Townend (GBR) is eventing's new world number one in the FEI Rankings, taking over from longtime leader Michael Jung (GER).
Jung, reigning Olympic champion, has held the top spot since the middle of 2015, but he has now been replaced by 35-year-old Townend following his thrilling victory at the Lexington (USA) CCI4* last weekend.
Townend (35) was briefly world number one in 2009 - a stellar year for him when he won the Badminton (GBR) CCI4* and Burghley (GBR) CCI4* titles - and he now reclaimed the top spot.
And it comes on the eve of this year's Badminton, where a Townend victory would see him emulate Jung and Pippa Funnell (GBR) in winning the Rolex Grand Slam for consecutive victories at Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton.
"It's very good. I like the sound of that!" said Townend, following release of the latest FEI World Eventing Rankings.
"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 was runner-up to Townend at Lexington, is now at number two, just one ranking point behind, with Tim Price (NZL) third, Gemma Tattersall (GBR) fourth and Ros Canter (GBR) fifth.
The United States boasts seven riders in the top 25 of the FEI World Eventing Rankings. Phillip Dutton is ranked 11th, followed by Buck Davidson in 15th, Boyd Martin in 17th, Lynn Symansky in 18th, Marilyn Little in 19th, Will Coleman in 21st, and Lauren Kieffer in 24th.
View the full FEI World Eventing Rankings here.
About Oliver Townend
Townend started riding at age seven and came to prominence after making his international debut for Team Great Britain in 2005 at the FEI European Championships Eventing in Blenheim (UK). Townend has also been part of the gold medal winning team for Great Britain at three FEI European Championships (2007, 2009, 2017).
Following his win in Kentucky at the weekend Oliver Townend is now in the running to win the Rolex Grand Slam in Badminton this weekend.
"No matter how old you are, be open to all disciplines, learn how to ride a dressage horse, a gaited horse, a show jumper. Go fox hunting and point-to-pointing and horse showing. You’ll learn from all of them and when you do decide which discipline you want to do, you’ll be better at it anyway.”
The University of Findlay’s Three-Day Eventing Team was established in 2013, the same year USEA voted and approved the USEA intercollegiate program. The UF team has over 30 members encompassing a variety of majors at the university. The team has access to two indoor arenas, a large outdoor arena, and 70 acres of on-site cross-country fences.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.