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British gold medal-winning horse sold abroad: ‘He’s been an absolute superstar’

Quarrycrest Echo, with whom Piggy French was part of Britain’s gold medal-winning team at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2018, has been sold to Japan.

The 12-year-old has been bought from owner Jayne McGivern by Riding Club Crane for Toshiyuki Tanaka to ride.

“Red”, as he is known at home, has been one of Britain’s most successful event horses in the past few years. He and Piggy were individuals at the 2017 European Championships at Strzegom before taking team gold – and 10th place individually – at WEG the following year. They were also members of the British team which won the silver medal at the European Championships in Luhmühlen in 2019.

Piggy told H&H: “Probably my very best memories of him are winning the Event Rider Masters class at Chatsworth in 2018, and of our win at Hartpury in the CCI4*-S this year. He is the most incredible horse to ride at speed round a shorter track – I’ve never had one like it – and I’m so proud of him. He has been such fun to ride and I am very fond of him.”

The pair finished fifth in the CCI5* at Kentucky in 2019, and were sixth at Aachen this year before helping their country secure the silver in Luhmühlen in 15th spot individually.

In a statement released by Piggy, she said: “Jayne McGivern and I are very sad to announce the sale of Quarrycrest Echo to continue his career with Toshiyuki Tanaka and Team Japan. Red has been an absolute superstar for both of us over the past few years, taking us all over the world to some of the biggest and best events in our sport.

“Firstly, I would like to thank Red for everything he has given me as my friend and partner in all the great days we enjoyed together. Secondly, I would like to thank Jayne for her tremendous support both past, present and future. She has been instrumental in helping me achieve my goals after the last few years and we are both looking forward to many more years of success together.

“This was a very difficult decision for both of us, but we would like to wish Toshi and Team Japan the very best of luck with him in 2020 and beyond. He has been an outstanding horse for Jayne and I and we sincerely hope he is the same for his new connections.

“Red’s departure will without doubt leave a big hole in my yard, but I am fortunate to have some lovely horses, both old and new, who I believe can step up to fill the gap he leaves behind. 2020 is a huge year for me and everyone else in our sport and I am hugely excited and motivated to continue my preparations towards representing Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Thank you, Red, for everything. Piggy x”

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Red did his first few events with British showjumping star Holly Smith in the spring of 2013, and was bought from her yard in the summer of that year. Tina Cook competed him in 2016 while Piggy was pregnant with her son Max.

Piggy, of course, has 2019 Badminton winner Vanir Kamira and 2019 Blenheim CCI4*-L winner Brookfield Inocent at the top level and they will spearhead her Tokyo 2020 challenge, while she has many exciting younger horses coming through.

Jayne McGivern also owns Calling Card, who joined Piggy’s yard this year and is competing at CCI4* level, and a six-year-old, Igel, at novice level.

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