Piggy March secured a prestigious win at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, just two weeks after her victory in the CCI5* at Burghley two weeks ago.

She held onto the lead she established after dressage to win the CCI4*-S for eight- and nine-year-old horses on Jayne McGivern’s nine-year-old stallion Halo. He has been with Piggy for less than a year after being bought from Australian rider Kevin McNab last winter.

The pair just added 2.8 cross-country time-faults to their dressage mark of 21.3 to finish 4.1 penalties ahead of second-placed Sarah Bullimore and her husband Brett and The Seahorse Syndicate’s Evita AP. New Zealand rider Caroline Powell was third on Greenacres Special Cavalier, owned by Chris Mann.

“Halo is a fantastic little horse and is so much fun,” said Piggy. “He is quite low on mileage and I just felt I wanted to hold his hand a couple of times to make sure I got it done, rather than knowing he’s a schoolmaster who can knife in and take strides out. He found it very easy and this will have brought him on as well for the future, which is really exciting.

“It is great for my owner Jayne McGivern – she has been amazing for me. She lives locally to Blenheim and to win here was on her wish-list, but that is easier said than done, so this is very special.”

‘This win is for my father’

Germany’s Malin Hansen-Hotopp was thrilled to win the feature CCI4*-L class on Bodil Ipsen’s Carlito’s Quidditch K, and she was competing in Britain for the first time.

After adding nothing on the cross-country yesterday to her leading dressage mark of 24.6, she left all the showjumps up today and just collected 1.2 time-faults.

“I’m just so pleased to have this horse,” she said. “I was just really concentrating and trying to enjoy it. This morning at 5am I was feeling really nervous, but I thought, ‘No, I just need to concentrate and focus’, so I went to the stables.

“Now I am the winner! It’s just awesome and I can’t describe the feeling. I think back at home I will have a big party. I’m just so happy – he’s the best horse. I had time to think and enjoy the experience – it was just brilliant.

“This win is for my father. He died when I was 13. He was an event trainer and trained [German Olympic team gold medallist and new German eventing team trainer] Peter Thomsen on our cow fields – Peter jumped his first jump for him. This win is for my father as I am just doing what he loved.”

Malin’s German compatriot Dirk Schrade finished second on his dressage score of 29 with Freya Rethmeier’s Casino 80. Britain’s Bubby Upton was third with the Chedington Estate’s Jefferson 18 – a horse she only took over the ride on from Christopher Burton this spring.

This week, Team Germany also won the World Championships and Britain’s Yasmin Ingham was crowned individual World Champion in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy. The event  ran concurrently with Blenheim. Yasmin won Blenheim’s CCI4*-L class last year on her gold medal ride Banzai Du Loir.

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