–Warning: when we say Eventing Nation is your source for “Eventing news, results, and ridiculous commentary,” this is the ridiculous commentary part.–
My take: Let’s start by checking out hidden camera footage of Oliver Townend’s Show Jumping round from Pau today, where he had 7 rails down. *Click Here*. Ok, sorry, maybe that was not their jumping round, but it probably looked something like that. Just more rain and a less sound horse.
Townend’s reckless decision to run Carousel Quest in the poor horse’s 3rd CCI4* in just over 5 months ended in embarrassment on Sunday. With 7 rails down, Carousel Quest, bless his heart, clearly had nothing left in the tank for Show Jumping. The pair had twice the SJ penalties of any other competitor at Pau, after being only 1 of 8 clean rounds at Burghley a month ago.
I think we are all amazed at the lack of responsibility and caring that Townend showed to a horse that has given him so much. If Carousel Quest had jumped as poorly on Saturday as he did on Sunday, we would be talking about a very different ending to Pau. Furthermore, Townend’s absurd decision was completely futile since, with William Fox-Pitt’s XC stop, Oliver would have won the HSBC FEI Classic by sitting on his couch at home. Instead, he has completely ruined his already poor reputation and those of his sponsors. Hopefully he has not ruined his horse as well.
Unfortunately for all of us, and especially his horses, Townend has clearly not learned his lesson. In an interview Sunday afternoon, Townend said “It’s a very difficult task winning the Grand Slam but I’ve given myself a chance and I’ll do everything I can to take it.” That’s what we’re all afraid of.