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Horse & Hound 09-May-2019

Published by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Every week Horse & Hound brings horse lovers up-to-date with the latest news and event reports and provides expert equestrian advice on subjects including training and horse care, the latest equine products and feed. The weekly features inform and entertain inspiring readers to go out and ride to improve their horsemanship in every discipline from eventing to show jumping, dressage to showing, polo and hunting. It is also the must read for anyone wanting to buy or sell a horse.

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thank you, badminton

PIGGY FRENCH is, as Mark Phillips puts it in his comment this week (p51), “a class act”. Honest and self-deprecating, the Brit won as many fans for her openness as for her victory at Badminton. She talks with affection for Vanir Kamira, but believably — the horse is a character not a saint. And I wouldn’t have been the only one affected as Piggy explained how much she missed her son, Max, that week. He was, like any toddler, really taken with the tractors and not the least overwhelmed by the enormity of the occasion. His mother, this beautiful rider, who looks a picture at every cross-country fence, has suffered many disappointments over the years as horses’ injuries have cost her team appearances. She’s plugged away, or as she eloquently puts…

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piggy on top

‘She comes into her own at Badminton’PIGGY FRENCH ON VANIR KAMIRA AN emotional Piggy French thought she had “absolutely no chance” of winning her first Badminton Horse Trials title when she walked the showjumping last Sunday. Leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class’ one fence down would not have cost them the victory, but the pair finished one second too many over the time allowed and handed victory to Piggy and Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira, by 0.3 of a penalty. “It was seriously close but I’ve never managed to be over the line first — and now I have,” said Piggy, for whom this was a 25th start at this level. “I’m so grateful; I know everyone says it but it is such a team effort, it really is. It’s amazing.” Piggy had praised her…

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hope despite ‘devastating’ blow of losing belton

THE organisers of Belton Horse Trials have already been contacted by potential replacement venues after the “devastating” cancellation of the event. Property owner the National Trust is pulling the plug on the international fixture, which had run for 40 years. Stuart Buntine, of organisers Bede Events, said the decision was “out of the blue” — but the event will run at another venue next year. “In business we are used to collaboration, openness and consultation if there is an issue. I’m sorry to say that the National Trust did none of that when making its decision,” he said. “But we remain committed to safeguarding the future of the [event] and have already been approached by a significant number of potential venues, which is very encouraging. “Belton was started in 1980 by Lord Brownlow, prior…

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campaign to get hunting’s voice heard

“IT’S our turn to speak” is the title of a new campaign aimed at getting hunting’s voice heard. This is Hunting UK (TiHUK) wants supporters to try to counteract the often misguided views spread by those who are against the sport. James Barclay of the group told H&H the countryside, and hunting in particular, are “very much in the spotlight”. “We want to turn that tide and meet it head-on,” he said, adding that hunting plays a central role in countryside communities, but that it is being “targeted” by antis. “It’s time for us to stand up and be counted against verbal or otherwise attacks, and ensure the message is put across.” Mr Barclay urged supporters to speak to unconvinced people, while the group will share positive information on its social media. TiHUK is also running…

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horses in the news

MOUNT ST JOHN FREESTYLE Charlotte Dujardin’s world team and individual bronze medal-winning ride will return to FEI competition at Bolesworth (12-16 June). It will be the first show for the 10-year-old mare since Tryon. BILLY CONGO William Funnell’s 18-year-old European team gold medal-winning stallion is to focus on breeding duties. Pippa Funnell, who produced the horse, retook the reins in 2018 and finished second in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup. ALICANTE VALLEY The 14-year-old, owned by Jennifer Whittaker, scored his first FEI wins abroad at Saumur CDI2* on his overseas debut, with British rider Jess Dunn. The pair topped the inter I and inter I freestyle classes.…

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two legends call time on equestrian careers

‘The best bits were riding all the great horses’RUBY WALSH THE world of equestrian sport has lost two legends from competition as Ruby Walsh and Ian Millar both retired last Wednesday. The 12-time Irish champion National Hunt jockey Ruby, 39, bowed out after his win in the Punchestown Gold Cup on the Willie Mullins-trained Kemboy on 1 May, as 10-time Olympian, Canadian showjumper Ian Millar also announced his retirement. Ruby said it was a “decision he was ready to make” after a stellar career in which he has ridden more than 2,500 winners. He told H&H: “I suppose I’d had enough of being injured, and had achieved so much; I was probably looking for a good way to do it and when the opportunity presented itself, I took it.” Ruby, who was top jockey to…