Piggy French has been dealt another cruel blow; a minor injury to her top string Tinkas Time has ruled them out of the squad for the European Championships.

The popular event rider missed last summer’s Olympics after both her horses selected for the team — Jakata and DHI Topper W — were injured.

Pippa Funnell and Mirage D’Elle will replace Piggy in the squad for Malmo, Sweden next month (28 August-1 September).

Piggy had secured her place in the squad with a win in the CIC3* at Barbury (pictured). Tinkas Time — bought for her by long-term owner Michael Underwood — had, she said “put a smile on my face again” after the crushing disappointments of last year.

Pippa Funnell told H&H she was “absolutely shattered” for Piggy.

“I could weep for her,” she said.

“But from my point of view, I am delighted, obviously, to be back with Tina [Cook] and William [Fox-Pitt] and very much looking forward to it,” she added.

World Class Eventing Performance Manager, Yogi Breisner said: “Tinkas Time has met with a very minor injury, therefore the decision has been made not to rush him for the Europeans when he is such an exciting prospect for the future.

“We are excited to have Pippa and Mirage D’Elle on the team; Pippa has an outstanding record when representing Britain at Championship levels on a number of different horses.”

For more on this story, see this week’s issue of H&H, out on 18 July.