There were emotional scenes as Piggy March went into the lead in the CCI4*-L on the second day of Bramham Horse Trials dressage. She scored 23.3 riding Coolparks Sarco, who until her Badminton fall was ridden by Nicola Wilson.
“That was a very emotional moment. I have to say I’ve never had a cheer that big and it’s just for the love of Nicola, which is so wonderful,” said Piggy referring to Nicola’s local Yorkshire crowd showing their appreciation after her Bramham Horse Trials dressage test. “I just hope it’s a week that we can do her proud. I have to keep quite strong because we miss her and this result is a credit to her through and through.”
Coolparks Sarco’s owners, James Lambert OBE and his wife Jo, sent this 10-year-old to Piggy’s yard just three weeks ago.
“I’ve not had him long and I was going through the whole test not having a bloody clue what I was doing to be honest, but you know all credit to Nic – he’s a lovely little horse,” said Piggy. “Nic basically told me that yes, this is what I was doing and so I agreed obviously with pride and honour because she’s amazing and has been a wonderful teammate and friend in general.”
Piggy’s hopes for the week with Coolparks Sarco are very straightforward in that her aim is to get him home safe.
“This will be a big week for him with where he’s at in his life and what he’s done, and physically with the terrain and his age,” she explained. “He’s done Boekelo once – that was flat so this is a big week. I’m taking each day as it comes – we want to enjoy him and I just want to make sure he’s okay.
“It’s wonderful when you get given these last-minute opportunities, but obviously it came with a lot of mixed emotions. I would love to just get him back – I’m not my usual ‘right, come on, I can win this’ – I am wanting to figure him out and hopefully just do the best I can for him, his owners and Nic’s parents, who are here this week. We’ve got Nic’s Yorkshire Rose quarter marks on him and that will stay there for as long as I ride him.”
Piggy has done two events on Coolparks Sarco, who was originally produced by Andrew Nicholson to advanced and three-star level before Nicola took on the ride in 2021.
“Getting to know him has been quite interesting. Obviously Nic hasn’t had him that long and he’s quite an ‘Andrew horse’ – Nic did a lot in a year,” said Piggy, referring to the fact that Nicola managed to clock a win in the eight- and nine-year-old CCI4*-S class at Blenheim and then fourth in the CCI4*-L Boekelo last year. “So bless him, he’s probably not got a clue what’s going on. I had a run at Rockingham – Rockingham is not Bramham, but I did have a competitive run.
“I’ve spoken to Nic two or three times about his fitness, which has really helped, as her routine is different to mine. I was wondering if we were fit enough to come here, but Nic’s horses always are and he feels great. He’s obviously just different and used to different work, so it’s been an interesting past two or three weeks.”
Keep up-to-date with all the action from Bramham via horseandhound.co.uk and read the full magazine report in the 16 June issue of Horse & Hound
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