Dancing with one heel, stretching your knees out further and being Valegro: Bicton five-star’s best rider quotes

  • The Chedington Bicton Horse Trials is over, but we loved Britain’s only five-star of 2021. Because we’re not ready to let it go quite yet, we’ve collected together our favourite rider quotes from the week for you here…

    “He’s so amazing at measuring his jumps. He’s not a flamboyant jumper or anything, but he’s really fun – he makes me laugh, because if he comes to a fence that’s a bit wider, he just goes, ‘Oh mum, I think I need to stretch my knees out further’. And that’s all he does, whereas some horses kind of go, ‘Boof, it’s a big jump’, he just goes, ‘Oh I’ll stretch my legs further out’, which is just really funny.”
    Gemma Tattersall on winner Chilli Knight

    “She did the best round of her life at the right time [when she jumped clear to win Badminton 2019], and she never owes me anything else, but we did our best.”
    Piggy March after eight faults on the final day with Vanir Kamira, who finished third

    “I hope with some more cementing of our partnership, he’ll learn to enjoy the atmosphere in the future and be a real show off.”
    Izzy Taylor after her test on Fonbherna Lancer, who impressed for fourth in the first phase

    “It’s just taken a long time – obviously the two years with Covid, but he’s been a big lanky, slightly ungainly horse and for me he could not have performed better in all three phases.”
    Pippa Funnell on runner-up Billy Walk On

    “I think riders will have to use their heads – you have to let horses breathe if they are getting tired as you won’t get home if you have your foot on the accelerator all the way.”
    Padraig McCarthy on riding the terrain on Mark Phillips’s cross-country track

    “Almost a decade went by when he couldn’t stand in any of his halts, so he’s come a long way.”
    Tim Price is winning after persuading Ringwood Sky Boy to stand in two of his three halts in the dressage

    “She is what she is – I joke saying I’m going to make her into Valegro or something, but she’s not built for it, she doesn’t find it easy. She’s a definite mare – there’s that fine line of it being okay and not. She can feel marey and if she’s happy and she smiles, her movements are up to two marks anyway.”
    Piggy March on doing dressage with Vanir Kamira, second after this phase

    “The challenge is constant – it’s proper five-star, you’ve got narrow after narrow, corner after corner, and Mark’s encouraging you to go on long distances to accuracy questions. When horses get a little tired, seven or eight minutes in, that’s when the problems start occurring.”
    Oliver Townend has his say on the course

    “We could be the bridesmaids!”
    Piggy March to Pippa Funnell after Gemma Tattersall’s boyfriend Gary Stevens proposed at the final press conference

    “I’ve had to change the way I train her to not train her really. I haven’t practised the test, so I was quite nervous I was going to go the wrong way because I like to practise. I’ve just found that hacking on a long rein and keeping her really happy and relaxed is her way. She’s so honest that she’ll do everything you ask her if she’s in the right frame of mind.”
    Ros Canter on Pencos Crown Jewel’s dressage test, which left her in the top 10

    “I didn’t really want to have one foot without studs – it’d be like me dancing with one heel.”
    Pippa Funnell on the fact her dressage test with Majas Hope was put back as he needed the farrier’s attention

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