Piggy French has been given a yellow card because there was a visible mark on Quarrycrest Echo’s side where she used her whip during the cross-country at last week’s Longines FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen, Germany (29 August-1 September).
The FEI eventing rules state: “If a horse’s skin is broken or has visible marks the use of whip will always be deemed to be excessive.”
Additionally, they say that: “All cases of excessive use of whip, as defined above, shall automatically be sanctioned with a yellow warning card or by stronger sanction(s).”
British team rider Piggy said: “I feel really sad because this overshadows how amazing my horse was on Saturday. I felt he backed off through the tough water complex [the Meßmer Teich at fence 12abc] so, in order to ensure his safety and mine, my reaction was to give him a couple of reminders.
“Of course I accept the yellow card, but the welfare of my horse is always my top priority and I would be deeply upset if anyone thought I’d ever do anything that wasn’t fair or in his best interests. I know him extremely well and he’s my friend in all this.”
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Piggy finished the cross-country course clear inside the 10min 10sec optimum time with Jayne McGivern’s 12-year-old chestnut Quarrycrest Echo, after a dressage score of 29.8.
She went on to have the second part of the double at fence four down in the final showjumping on Sunday, finishing on a score of 33.8 for 15th place individually and providing a counting mark towards the British team’s silver medal.
Full report from the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen, Germany, in Horse & Hound magazine this week (dated 5 September), including exclusive columns from Mark Phillips and ground jury president Martin Plewa.