Piggy French best Brit in Aachen eventing as Team GB suffer mixed fortunes across country

Piggy French finished sixth and the best of the British in the eventing at Aachen, the SAP cup, today (Saturday, 20 July).

The Badminton winner and Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo added just 1.6 time-faults across country to move up the order by five places, after their showjumping clear last night.

“He was amazing today and he can be as quick as any. I haven’t had a fast run for a while and was concerned I’d be out of sync, but it felt fine,” said Piggy. “He was great everywhere and I couldn’t fault him.”

Imogen Murray also went clear, with 3.6 time-faults, to move up to 14th with Aivar Ward and the MS Team’s Ivar Gooden.

“He was incredible and helped me out at fence 21 — I was going a bit quicker than planned and I’m not sure he saw the second part, but he’s such a good cross-country  and if he sees flags, he does his best to jump it,” said Imogen, referring to the much talked-about Stawag-Complex, where riders jumped a corner, then made a blind turn to a double of shoulder brushes.

This fence put paid to the hopes of Britain’s overnight leader, Laura Collett, who incurred 20 penalties at the final element with her own, Karen Bartlett and Keith Scott’s London 52.

“He was class and it wasn’t his fault,” said Laura, who finished 20th.

Fourth British team member Gemma Tattersall was at a loss to explain her run-out at the first triple brush at fence 15, the Turkish Airlines Complex.

“She came off the corner and ran out, there’s nothing more to say,” she said after finishing 30th on Chris Stone’s Jalapeno.

These cross-country problems meant Britain dropped out of the podium positions, finishing fourth.

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British individual Selina Milnes and William Rucker’s Iron also did not have the best day — they jumped to the left of the flags at the brush corner in the first water, the Rolex Complex, sending the ropes and a fence post flying. They continued round the course but pulled up after a second run-out, at fence 15.

Check back for more news from Aachen throughout the week, plus full reports in next week’s Horse & Hound (dated 25 July).