Photo © Michelle Dunn.
Oliver Townend (GBR) is eventing’s new world number one, taking over from longtime leader Michael Jung (GER).
Jung, reigning Olympic champion, has held top spot since the middle of 2015, but he has now been replaced by 35-year-old Townend following his thrilling victory at the Lexington (USA) CCI4* last weekend.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 reclaims 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.
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