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All-the-way London test win to Piggy French

July 7, 2011

by Lulu Kyriacou

Britain's Piggy French and DHI Topper W won the London Prepares Olympic Equestrian Test event at Greenwich Park overnight, finishing on their dressage score of 34.7.

Piggy French and DHI Topper W over the last. © Lulu Kyriacou
Riders had to complete an extra show jump round in the two-star competition to conform to the Olympic system for deciding the individual placings.

There were seven double clears in the show jumping phase but only three combinations finished on their dressage scores.

French, who collected her award from The Duchess of Cornwall, said: "I'm really glad I was allowed to come to the test event. As you walk into the park you get goosebumps, and to be riding for your country is such an honour. It has been great to get such a positive feel and for my country to have come out on top."

World Champion Michael Jung was second on River of Joy and Pippa Funnell rose to the bronze medal position with Billy Shannon despite a hesitation three from hom, after Sweden's Sara Algotsson Ostholt lost three places from second to fifth place overall after taking a rail with Mrs Medicott.

Jung said: "I would love to come back here next year. I think Greenwich is a wonderful place and it is a good venue for the horses - the stables are quiet and relaxing and the ground and facilities are good." Funnell said: "It didn't seem like a test event - it was like the real thing. Among the riders the vibes were just amazing.

Vittoria Pannizzon and Borough Penny Z.
© Lulu Kyriacou
"Everyone at the venue was cheery and helpful, and what topped it for me personally was the interaction with the local people."

Ireland's Joseph Murphy seems to be forging a strong partnership with Chuckleberry (formerly ridden by William Fox-Pitt among others) to finish eighth, and just above him in seventh was Italy's Vittoria Pannizzon and Borough Penny Z.

Both these riders, who are less experienced than French, did not put a foot wrong in the jumping phases and thoroughly deserved their good placings.

Murphy, riding Trevor Badger and James Acheson's Chuckelberry, moved up from 26th place after dressage to hold overnight 18th on Tuesday after a clear cross country round in the optimum time. His zero score over two rounds of show jumping catapulted the 35 year-old to eighth place at the finish.

Ireland's other competitor at Greenwich, Jayne Doherty and the Irish-bred The Only One, finished in 22nd place.

Mark Todd's NZB Campino did not hit a pole but had one time penalty to end up 15th which left him best of the Kiwi riders after both Andrew Nicholson and Clarke Johnstone had two rails in the second round.

A full report with comment on the event and its aftermath is to follow.

Michael Jung and River of Joy. © Lulu Kyriacou



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