Piggy March (née French) is one of Britain’s leading event riders, frequently winning at national and international events and representing her country.
Piggy March and Brookfield Inocent at the 2021 European Championships.
Piggy was born on 12 August 1980 and was brought up in Norfolk. She was always passionate about horses and her mother Kate was instrumental in her early success, while her father Wally was keen for her to follow an academic path. But she started working with horses after a failed stint at art college in Cambridge.
Piggy first rode at championship level in 2001 at the young rider Europeans, where she won a team gold medal riding Flintlock II in 2001. The same horse took her to her first five-stars, Burghley Horse Trials in 2002 and Badminton Horse Trials in 2003.
What is Piggy March’s real name?
Piggy’s real name is Georgina — Piggy is a childhood nickname she received after her sisters Anna and Nini visited her in hospital shortly after her birth and decided she looked like Piglet in Winnie the Pooh, but it is the name she competes under and chooses to use in day-to-day life.
Piggy March (neé French) and Vanir Kamira winning Badminton in 2019.
“Everyone says it’s the team, but it’s true — you have to have those people who believe in you. Nobody has a clue what you go through to be competitive at this level, to actually get your nose in front,” she said after her triumph. “You get used to saying well done to everyone else, going home, working away and thinking about living the dream another day.”
Asked what advice she’d give to a younger competitor, Piggy added: “Three days ago, I was asked this and said, ‘Don’t do it, do something else, anything else.’ Now, I would say that dreams can come true – you get close and you’ve got to keep believing. Keep working, get good systems and keep loving riding the horses. And hope one day someone looks down and says it’s your day. Today was mine.”
Piggy and Vanir Kamira went on to win Burghley Horse Trials three years later, when the mare was 17 years old.
What medals has Piggy March won?
Piggy made her senior championship debut at the 2009 European Championships in Fontainebleau, being called up from the reserve bench and going on to win individual silver with Some Day Soon.
She added to her medal tally with team bronze at the 2011 European Championships in Luhmühlen on Jakata, who was also her ride in an individual berth at the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Kentucky, USA.
Piggy was selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games with both Jakata and DHI Topper W, but missed out when both horses suffered injuries, which she says left her “heartbroken” and is something she struggled to come to terms with.
Piggy had her son, Max, in 2016 and married her long-term fiancé Tom March in June 2019, having invited guests to what was billed as a Badminton celebration party but turned out to be a wedding.
Piggy has been open that having a break from eventing to have Max reinvigorated her love for the sport. Finishing second at Burghley 2017, she said: “The baby break came at a good time. I was bored by the end of it and I’m keen to enjoy eventing now, which hasn’t always been the case. Sometimes it doesn’t work when you try too hard.”