The leaderboard has undergone a reshuffle at the halfway stage of the cross-country at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen (28 August-1 September).
Piggy French jumped a clear round inside the optimum time of 10min 10sec riding Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo, which, after 37 horses puts her into individual bronze medal position so far on their 29.8 dressage.
“He’s fab on his day and I was worried about the water fences here as they are serious and they required you to land and go to get the distances, but he was genuine,” said Piggy, who finished 11 seconds inside the optimum time. “He’s a really fun, cool horse and is my mate — I was devastated with my dressage mark as I thought he deserved a couple of marks better.”
Best of the finishers so far is France’s Lt. Col. Thibaut Vallette, who was four seconds inside the time with Qing de Briot ENE HN, completing on their 25.8 dressage. They will finish the day in no lower than bronze, with over night leader Michael Jung and second-placed Ingrid Klimke still to go.
“He is a great horse and my best friend — he was very good,” said Thibaut.
Italy’s Pietro Roman is currently second with the 17-year-old Barraduff. They were another to finish inside the optimum time to sit on their 29.4 dressage.
“My horse is amazing and very fast — I loved riding round there,” said Pietro, who is 29. “He doesn’t feel like an older horse, and comes out of the stable every day like a youngster.”
There was huge disappointment for Laura Collett and London 52, who were flying until the last water at fence 20ab, Lake Land Rover. Third after the dressage, they stopped at the narrow bird sculpture fence in the middle of the water (pictured) and Laura was catapulted over London 52’s ears, resulting in elimination.
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First out for the British team, Pippa Funnell and Majas Hope, put in a beautiful round to finish eight seconds inside the optimum time and they currently sit in eighth place individually.
Kai Rüder and Colani Sunrise, who were key members of the German team, jumped clear across country but incurred 16 time-faults after the horse was difficult to get out of the start box. This means that the team competition has become a closer run affair, with the Germans leading by just 5.2 penalties over second-placed Britain at this stage. France has climbed from fourth to third thanks to two clear cross-country rounds inside the time, with Belgium slipping to eighth at the moment, having been third after the dressage.
Check back for more updates from the Eventing European Championships in Luhmühlen all week, plus full report in next week’s Horse & Hound magazine (dated 5 September).