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Page last updated at 18:28 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 19:28 UK

Townend left out of GB eventing team for Worlds

Oliver Townend on Ashdale Cruise Master
Townend and Ashdale Cruise Master are back to full fitness

Last year's Badminton and Burghley winner Oliver Townend has been left out of the Great Britain eventing team for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

Former world number one Pippa Funnell is called up for Britian for the first time since 2005 after a quiet couple of years where her top horses retired.

She will join her fellow Olympians William Fox-Pitt, Mary King and Tina Cook on the six-strong team.

Piggy French and Nicola Wilson complete the group.

French won European individual silver last year, while Wilson was part of the gold medal-winning team.

The eventing competition starts on 30 September with all six riders challenging for individual honours, while the quartet for the team competition will be chosen from the six at a later date.

Townend and his horse Ashdale Cruise Master are non-travelling reserves alongside Lucy Wiegersma (Woodfalls Inigo Jones), Sharon Hunt (Tankers Town) and Daisy Berkeley (Spring Along).

Townend began the current season aiming to become only the second rider after Funnell to win eventing's richest prize - the £230,000 Rolex Grand Slam - which is awarded for winning successive Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky four-star titles.

But a crashing fall from new ride Ashdale during the cross-country phase in Kentucky almost three months ago saw him airlifted to hospital after being knocked out and suffering broken bones.

Although the pair returned to action in May, winning a World Cup event in Ireland and finished fifth at the prestigious Luhmuhlen four-star event in Germany, it was not enough to make it into the Worlds team.

"I believed we had done enough to show that we are a successful partnership with a proven record in international competitions," said Townend.

"We will carry on being successful, and hopefully, we can prove to the selectors that they have made a mistake in overlooking this horse."

Funnell will ride Redesigned, who she won with at last month's Bramham Horse Trials while Fox-Pitt, who won the Kentucky event where Townend suffered his fall, will again ride Cool Mountain.

King, 49, has been selected aboard Imperial Cavalier and Cook takes her Olympic and European medal-winning ride Miners Frolic.

Wilson and Opposition Buzz effectively confirmed their place by winning last weekend's Barbury International in Wiltshire, with French and Jakata completing the line-up.

The squad is now subject to the six selected horses confirming their form at a competition to be chosen by the team selectors.

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see also
Hunt takes top prize in Germany
20 Jun 10 |  Equestrian
Fall ends Townend Grand Slam bid
25 Apr 10 |  Equestrian
Tapner secures Badminton victory
03 May 10 |  Equestrian
Equestrian sport on the BBC
05 Sep 07 |  Equestrian

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