French fancies her chances of success

Norfolk's Piggy French insists she is a woman on a mission - aiming to banish her Badminton heartache by returning to form in style at this weekend's Chatsworth International Horse Trials.

Norfolk's Piggy French insists she is a woman on a mission - aiming to banish her Badminton heartache by returning to form in style at this weekend's Chatsworth International Horse Trials.

Riding Some Day Soon, French had a nightmare trip to the showpiece Gloucestershire-event earlier this month - with the former South Norfolk Pony Club member being eliminated at the cross country stage having been tied for 14th after the dressage.

That elimination saw French fall down the Great Britain pecking order as she bids to be part of the squad that heads to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in September.

But while quick to accept her Badminton set-back couldn't be worse timed, French - who hails from North Elmham - is adamant she will be back to her best in Derbyshire this weekend, with Chatsworth also doubling up as the fifth leg of the HSBC FEI World Cup.


You may also want to watch:


"I was absolutely gutted with how Badminton ended up because it was an event that I was gearing my season around and it didn't go to plan at all," said French, a former pupil at Beeston Hall School in Cromer.

"But in horse riding we have to deal with a lot of setbacks and disappointments and it is important I bounce back from that now.

Most Read

"It was really disappointing because I really wanted to go to Badminton and perform well to put myself in a good position to be selected for the World Equestrian Championships in Kentucky later this year. But I don't think the decision will be made until later in the year so I have still got a chance to go if I can perform well at the events we have got coming up.

"It is up to me to prove to the selectors that I can go there and do well and that starts with Chatsworth."

French underlined her international potential last year when she rode Some Day Soon to individual silver at the European Eventing Championships in Fontainebleau in France.

And despite their blip at Badminton last time out, French insists changing a proven formula never crossed her mind as she bids to be back to her medal-winning best at Chatsworth.

"I'll be taking the same horse up there and what happened at Badminton is just one of those things so I am confident we can both bounce back at Chatsworth," added French.

"I have been up there plenty of times before and after Badminton it is just a matter of cracking on and getting on with it.

"Chatsworth is a great event with a very high quality field so it is going to be a difficult event but I am looking forward to it."

n HSBC is a platinum sponsor of the FEI - the highest level of sponsorship within the organisation. This is the third year of HSBC sponsorship of the HSBC FEI Classics and HSBC FEI World Cup.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus