Badminton top 10 in pictures: Piggy French scores emotional first CCI5* victory

A tiny 0.3 of a penalty decided the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials champion today (Sunday 5 May), with Great Britain’s Piggy French scoring an emotional first victory at this level riding Vanir Kamira.

Scroll down to see pictures of the top 10.

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1, Vanir Kamira

Piggy French GBR (26.8pens)

Piggy and this bay mare recorded one of only 11 showjumping rounds free of both jumping- and time-faults out of 56 horses. It was Piggy’s 25th attempt at CCI5* level and she admitted she wasn’t fully confident Vanir Kamira would jump clear around the technical track.

“I can’t quite believe it — I’m numb,” said Piggy. “Over the line first, which I’ve never managed, but now I have — happy days.

“This shows that if you have a system and you work hard, dreams can come true.”

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2, Ballaghmor Class

Oliver Townend GBR (27.1pens)

The overnight leaders knocked down one showjump and picked up 1.6 time-faults to slip to the runner-up position. One second equals 0.4 of a penalty, so one second quicker and they would have added this title to their 2017 Burghley victory.

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3, Cooley Lands

Christopher Burton AUS (28.1pens)

One of the clear rounds came from this duo, who are the only combination to finish on their dressage score from a total starting field of 82 horses.

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4, Graf Liberty

Christopher Burton AUS (33.7pens)

One rolled pole and two time-faults was good enough to secure fourth place for this combination.

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5, Swallow Springs

Andrew Nicholson NZL (35.8pens)

This lovely grey kicked out two coloured fences en route to fifth place.

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6,Cillnabradden Evo

Oliver Townend GBR (36.1pens)

The dressage leader hung on to sixth place with just one showjump down.

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7, Billy The Red

Tina Cook GBR (40.5pens)

Tina and Billy The Red pulled off a copybook clear to add nothing to their overnight score.

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8, Ivar Gooden

Imogen Murray GBR (41.2pens)

This popular combination appeared in the top 10 when they every single coloured pole in its cups. They were clear across country on Saturday too, picking up just 1.6 time-faults.

Lying 65th after the first phase, Imogen and Ivar Gooden won the Glentrool Trophy for the second year running for making the biggest improvement on their dressage placing — an impressive 57 places.

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9, Little Fire

William Fox-Pitt GBR (41.2pens)

Six of the top 10 places were filled by British riders, with William taking ninth aboard Little Fire, the horse he says is responsible for him returning to the top level and keeping him motivated after his serious head injury in 2015.

They showjumped clear, but stopped the clock one second over the time for 0.4 of a penalty.

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10, Ringwood Sky Boy

Tim Price NZL (43.3pens)

Last year’s Burghley CCI5* champions rounded off the top 10 after having three showjumps down and picking up 1.2 time-faults.

Two riders lying inside the top 10 after cross-country crashed out of the reckoning in the final phase.

New Zealand’s Ginny Thompson and Star Nouveau had a round to forget when the horse hit eight showjumps and picked up 2.4 time-faults. They plummeted from eighth overnight to finish outside the top 30.

Australia’s Bill Levett and Lassban Diamond Lift kicked out two showjumps to slip from ninth overnight to eventual 15th.

Photos by Mitsubishi Motors/Kit Houghton.

View the full results here.

View the rest of our Badminton coverage.