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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 17:27 UK

Townend secures Badminton victory

Highlights - Townend wins Badminton

Oliver Townend/Flint Curtis (44.5), William Fox-Pitt/Idalgo (45.2), Sam Griffiths/Happy Times (53.3), Roberto Rotatori/Della Irham de Vaiges (55.7), William Fox-Pitt/Macchiato (55.8), Lucy Wiegersma/Shaabrak (56.5), Karin Donkers/Gazelle De La Brasserie (57.2), Ruth Edge/Mayhem III (57.4), Caroline Powell/Lenamore (57.5), Harry Meade/Midnight Dazzler (57.7)

British rider Oliver Townend and his horse Flint Curtis rode to victory in the Badminton Horse Trials on a dramatic last day of competition.

Townend led going into Sunday's show jumping but was under pressure after strong rides from Sam Griffiths and William Fox-Pitt in particular.

In a nail-biting round Townend kept his cool and finished to win with a total of 44.5, just ahead of Fox-Pitt.

Zara Phillips was forced to retire both her rides on Saturday.

Townend and Flint Curtis, third at Badminton three years ago, are the first British winners of this event since Pippa Funnell on Primmore's Pride in 2005.

He had one fence down in the final showjumping test but keep his nerve to stave off the vastly-experienced Fox-Pitt, whose clear round on Idalgo put him in pole position with only 26-year-old Townend left to jump.

"It's fantastic," said Townend. "It means the world to me.

Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes

"I knew he would do it, somehow. I knew last November that he could win it, and now that he has won it, I am still dreaming.

"It is an indescribable feeling. Flint is a very special horse - we have a very good partnership."

British Olympian Fox-Pitt called on all of his considerable experience to clinch a sixth top-three Badminton finish, 8.8sec ahead of Griffiths on Happy Times.

"I've always believed in the horse from the moment I had him," he said. "I have always acknowledged what an exceptional animal he is.

"He's had injuries and glitches in his career - he has been unlucky so to have him come here and go like that has renewed everyone's faith in him. He is very talented."

Third-placed Griffiths leapt up the leaderboard as one of only four clear rounds among the top-10 finishers, overtaking the likes of Italian Roberto Rotatori and Brit Lucy Wiegersma.

First-time Badminton competitor Rotatori on Irham De Vaiges finished fourth, with Fox-Pitt fifth on his other horse Macchiato while Wiegersma was sixth on Shaabrak.

Outside the leading six, Britain had five other top-20 finishers in Ruth Edge (eighth), Harry Meade (10th), Francis Whittington (15th), Daisy Dick (16th) and Polly Stockton (17th).

see also
Close race for Badminton title
09 May 09 |  Other sport...
British duo set up Badminton duel
09 May 09 |  Other sport...
Badminton 60 years on
06 May 09 |  Olympics
Equestrian UK results
24 May 06 |  Equestrian
17 Oct 00 |  Equestrian
Donckers seizes lead at Badminton
08 May 09 |  Equestrian

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