“She’s so ‘unspecial’ that she’s special.” Those words — made famous by Jonelle Price when she won her first five-star last year at Badminton aboard Classic Moet — rang once again in my ears when Piggy French took her first five-star win aboard another unassuming mare. Vanir Kamira, a horse Piggy described as a “pain in the ass 362 days a year,” blossomed on the world’s biggest stage to clinch an emotional 100th top level win for Great Britain.
Had you told Piggy last week she would win Badminton, she would have absolutely laughed in your face. I know this because I told her on several occasions that a top result could happen with Vanir Kamira, and she firmly rejected the notion, which is understandable when you consider Piggy’s past form at the venue. In her six previous attempts at Badminton, Piggy had only completed the storied event twice, and not since 2011. “You get so used to it not being your day, and going home, and you just keep going,” Piggy said after taking the win.
Eventing is a sport of resilience, and Piggy should inspire riders of all walks of life that the impossible can become possible, if only you keep fighting. EN’s roving reporter Tilly Berendt — who also shares a name with Vanir Kamira, better known as “Tilly” to her friends — masterfully captured the Badminton finale in her final report. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s Badminton coverage, proudly presented by Voltaire Design United Kingdom. Go Eventing.
MUST READ: When Pigs Fly: Piggy French Takes Badminton
U.S. Weekend Action:
The Event at Skyline H.T. [Final Scores]
MCTA H.T. [Final Scores]
Poplar Place H.T. [Final Scores]
Your Monday News & Notes:
Racing enthusiasts are still struggling to grasp the outcome of the Kentucky Derby, which saw the winner disqualified for the first time in the 145-year history of the iconic race. If you’ve been looking for more analysis on why the track stewards opted to disqualify Maximum Security and give Country House the win, our friends at The Paulick Report have a round-up of must-read articles. [Columnists Sound Off On Kentucky Derby Disqualification]
Did you know Boyd Martin’s Kentucky mount Tsetserleg is also a graduate of the USEA Young Event Horse program? Read more about his road to clinching the National CCI5*-L Championship, plus meet the other YEH graduates who competed at Kentucky this year. [How Did the YEH Graduates Do at LRK3DE?]
If you haven’t been following along with the #SundaySchool series from Horse & Hound, you are seriously missing out. This week’s edition addresses how to nail the perfect counter-canter in your dressage test. (My last Preliminary test resulted in two lovely if unwelcome flying changes in the counter-canter both directions, so I’ll be reading this edition extra closely.) [#SundaySchool: how to develop and nail counter-canter]
Your Monday Video:
“Piggy, you’re crying … everyone is crying! How do you feel?”