One of Britain’s brightest talents has been sold in this winter’s most significant movement thus far, which comes as we close in on the January 15 deadline for Olympic transfers.
“Jayne McGivern and I are very sad to announce the sale of Quarrycrest Echo to continue his career with Toshiyuki Tanaka and Team Japan,” said Piggy French in a statement released on her social media channels. “Red has been an absolute superstar for both of us over the past few years, taking us all over the world to some of the biggest and best events in our sport.
“Firstly, I would like to thank Red for everything he has given me as my friend and partner in all the great days we enjoyed together. Secondly, I would like to thank Jayne for her tremendous support both past, present and future. She has been instrumental in helping me achieve my goals after the last few years and we are both looking forward to many more years of success together. This was a very difficult decision for both of us but we would like to wish Toshi and Team Japan the very best of luck with him in 2020 and beyond. He has been an outstanding horse for Jayne and I and we sincerely hope he is the same for his new connections.”
Quarrycrest Echo, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Echo x Royal China, by Cavalier Royale), has been a stalwart of the British team efforts over the last three seasons under Piggy. Their first appearance on the squad came at Aachen in 2017, where they finished ninth individually and fifth in the team competition. Later that summer, they headed to Strzegom for the European Championships, at which they competed as individuals, finishing 27th. In 2018, they contributed to British gold at the Tryon World Equestrian Games, finishing 10th individually, and in 2019 they were sixth at Aachen and 15th at the Luhmühlen European Championships, clinching team silver in the process. They also enjoyed success at the CCI5* level, most notably finishing fourth at the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Horse Trials.
“Red’s departure will without doubt leave a big whole in my yard but I am fortunate to have some lovely horses, both old and new, who I believe can step up to fill the gap he leaves behind,” continues the statement. “2020 is a huge year for me and everyone else in our sport and I am hugely excited and motivated to continue my preparations towards representing Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics. Thank you, Red, for everything.”
Though the sale of Quarrycrest Echo is undeniably an enormous milestone on the trail to Tokyo, the transfer comes as Piggy completes her most successful season yet — and, in fact, the most successful international season of any event rider thus far. Her formidable string at Maidwell Lodge Farm includes 10-year-old Brookfield Inocent, owned by John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn, who won Blenheim CCI4*-L this year on his level debut; Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira, with whom Piggy took her first CCI5* victory at Badminton this spring; Castletown Clover, owned by Susannah Paybody, who recorded top 10 finishes at Blenheim and Bramham this season; and Cooley Monsoon, owned by comedienne Jennifer Saunders, who stepped up to CCI4*-S this year and has finished fourth in both his runs at the level. Waiting in the wings is an exciting line-up of talent waiting to step up to the upper echelons, lead by Jayne McGivern’s Calling Card and John and Chloe Perry’s Brookfield Quality, both proving their prowess at the three-star level in 2019.
Team EN would like to wish Toshi Tanaka the best of luck in his new partnership and Piggy and her team continued success in 2020.