Piggy French leads dressage at Kentucky in windy weather: ‘I’m relieved’

Piggy French leads the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event at the end of the morning session of dressage today (Friday, 26 April).

The British rider and Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo had to deal with cold, windy weather, but scored 27.1 for a test which was only marred by a spook after the first centerline.

“I’m relieved, to be honest,” said Piggy, who explained she gave “Red” plenty of work yesterday when it was sunny and only planned a short warm-up today.

“He had a loose lunge this morning and got monsooned on, so it was hard to tell what mood he was in. I got up here 20 minutes before my test and he felt cold and stiff and started spooking, which he’s not done all week.

“I wasn’t feel that confident but he’s becoming more professional with age, apart from that early spook at the flower pot. I’m relieved there were no big mistakes.”

Piggy scored one nine, for her mid-test halt from Germany’s Martin Plewa, the judge at E. She has an advantage of 0.9 of a penalty over yesterday’s leader, Switzerland’s Felix Vogg.

Britain’s second competitor today, US-based Leslie Law, lies 16th on Tre’ Book’s Voltaire De Tre’ with a score of 36.9. The chestnut looked a little green in the arena, unsurprisingly as it is his first competition at this level.

“He’s come a long way in 12 months and dressage is his hardest phase,” said Leslie. “He’s a big horse and only 10 so we’ve got to wait for him to get stronger and carry himself better. I’m pleased he coped with the atmosphere because that has been tricky.”

Talking about the mini rear which the horse put in during the rein-back, Leslie said: “He is a little tricky there, so then it’s a question of whether to practise it in the warm-up or leave it alone. I decided to leave it alone today, but maybe I should have tried it outside.”

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Britain’s third rider, the defending champion Oliver Townend (Cooley Master Class) heads down the centre line at 1.32pm local time (6.32pm in Britain).

Check back for more updates from Kentucky. Full report in Horse & Hound magazine next week (issue dated 2 May 2019).

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