Piggy French and Vanir Kamira were lying in second overnight at Badminton Horse trails 2019 going into the final show jumping day. This was behind 2009 Badminton winner Oliver Townend off the back of his Kentucky Horse Trials win last week.
Piggy jumped a clear round within the time allowed to put all the pressure on Oliver Townend who had a 5.3 penalty lead and could still take the title. Unfortunately for Oliver a fence down and time penalties meant he dropped to second place.
Speaking in an interview afterwards Piggy stated ““When I woke up this morning I thought I might have a chance, but when I walked the course I thought I’d have no chance. I thought it was one of the most difficult showjumping tracks I’ve ridden and although Vanir Kamira is a real trier she’s not naturally talented in this phase. She’s better on a twisty course rather than having to deal with too many related distances.”
“My horse is a pain in the backside for 360 days of the year. She is difficult to manage, but she is amazing and comes to form for Badminton and Burghley. If I had built that course at home and practised it in the same-sized arena, I could do it 50 times and never have a clear round. But there is something about her. They just do enough when they need to. It is a complete fairytale.”
“Watching Oliver, I had turned away by the last fence and I thought ‘well done him’ but then the clock went red. It was very close. It was our day. I’m still numb and find it hard to communicate in words what I’m feeling. I’ve got so used to congratulating everyone else that I can’t quite believe it. And to be fair to Oliver – he’s very hard to get in front of!”
The Horse Exchange team are delighted for Piggy French and her team – Congratulations on winning the Badminton Horse Trials title.
Top Ten Results
1 – Piggy French – Vanir JKmira
2 – Oliver Townend – Ballaghmor Class
3 – Christopher Burton – Cooley Lands
4 – Christopher Burton – Graf Liberty
5 – Andrew Nicholson – Swallow Springs
6 – Oliver Townend – Cillnabradden Evo
7 – Kristina Cook – Billy the Red
8 – Imogen Murray – Ivar Gooden
9 – William Fox-Pitt – Little Fire
10 – Tim Price – Ringwood Sky Boy