‘It’s an exciting competition ahead’: Piggy March shoots to the top of the Bicton CCI4*-S leaderboard *H&H Plus*

  • Find out what Piggy had to say following her test aboard Brookfield Inocent, plus hear her interesting thoughts on being longlisted for the Tokyo Olympics

    Piggy March has taken a commanding lead in the Chedington CCI4*-S at Bicton International Horse Trials, scoring 23.1 aboard Brookfield Inocent (pictured) this morning (10 June).

    “I’m really pleased with the fact that it was quite claustrophobic in the arena, and that used to be something he didn’t cope so well with because he’s a really spooky horse,” Piggy explained of Alison Swinburn and John and Chloe Perry’s gelding, with whom she is longlisted for the Olympics. “So it’s nice to think at the grand old age of 12, he’s coming of age and wasn’t bothered at all and really stayed with me. I think he did pretty much a mistake-free test.”

    Piggy then explained how she has prepared Brookfield Inocent through the winter following his second place in the CCI5* at Pau last Autumn.

    “It’s been so difficult and frustrating with changes of plan due to competitions being cancelled. But you’re always working on the basics, bringing them on and strengthening them up. Brookfield Inocent is a 12-year-old horse now so he’s coming into his prime and he feels he feels in really good shape so it‘s just been trying to keep him oiled up, improving and hopefully aiming for championships. Fingers crossed the championships will keep going ahead this year and we can have a good aim of that. It’s just great to be somewhere different here, in a completely different fresh feel of a new arena and with new courses — it’s an exciting competition ahead.”

    Piggy also admitted that there is added pressure this weekend with regards to being one of those longlisted for the Tokyo Olympics.

    “Of course it adds pressure this weekend. We would all love to go, it’s something we all want to go to,” she said. “We’ve all got good horses and we are so strong as a nation now that it’s impossible to think about because if you start thinking ‘Oh God, — how do they select out of that?’ And so I’ve just got to keep going with what I do.

    “And it’s either good enough, or it’s not. There’ll probably be so many great performances this weekend and it’s such a level playing field between us that they could take three teams, and even the C team would probably win it. We’re all in the same boat and it’s fairly hideous in some ways but it’s also exciting.

    “It’s a shame that there can only be three riders on the Olympic team because a lot of people will be left at home that should be going and deserved to go — I think that’s sad. But keeping that aside, I think we just battle for ourselves. And if they want us, and we perform well this weekend then happy days. And if we don’t, then we’ll just have to keep going for the next three years to have another go at getting selected.”

    Caroline Harris and Miss Pepperpot currently hold second place in the CCI4*-S, on a score of 25.7, while Australia’s Chris Burton sits in second aboard Quality Purdey on 26.

    Read the full report from Bicton in the 17 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine and keep checking back to horseandhound.co.uk for further updates and insight

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