Oliver Townend continued the feelgood factor surrounding Great Britain’s squad at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships on Friday as his ride Fenyas Elegance posted a dressage personal best.
After the heady heights of day one, when five British riders claimed places among the top seven at Blair Castle, Townend also put himself in contention with a horse he only started competing on earlier this season.
But the richly promising partnership showed signs of its quality by recording a score of 38.7 penalties.
“It’s the first time in her life she has been in the 30s, so I couldn’t be happier,” said former Badminton and Burghley winner Townend.
“It has been written that she couldn’t handle the pressure, but she has gone in there and gone very well.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with her performance. She has done a very, very nice job, she has scored a personal best and there is still room for improvement.
“You can always improve – there are still things I need to get to grips with. She is a very new ride — I think this is only my fourth event on her, really — so I am very pleased with her.
“It was a fantastic crowd reaction. It worked in her favour, she lifted up a little bit and felt happy and relaxed.”
Townend helped Britain to European team gold at Fontainebleau in 2009, but this time around he is among eight British riders competing as individuals alongside Izzy Taylor, first-day leader Holly Woodhead, Francis Whittington, Wills Oakden, Laura Collett, Sarah Bullimore and Gemma Tattersall.