The opening leg of the Event Rider Masters 2018 saw an all-female podium, headed up by Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo.
Record crowds gathered at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials and they were treated to a weekend of world-class eventing.
This was Piggy’s first CIC3* win since 2014 and she did in style, becoming only the sixth person in the history of Chatsworth to make the time on the cross-country. She also went clear in the showjumping to finish on a personal best dressage score of 27.3pen.
“I was sitting in the truck waiting for my turn and I said to myself, ‘Come on, do something useful!’,” said Piggy.
Sarah Ennis and Horseware Stellor Rebound were second on 32.1pen ahead of Izzy Taylor and Call Me Maggie May in third on 34.8pen.
Laura Collett and Mr Bass were the over-night leaders after the dressage, but an unfortunate four faults in the showjumping saw them drop to fourth place.
Female placings continued down the line, with Gwendolen Fer in fifth, Vittoria Panizzon sixth and Ros Canter – fresh from her third place at Badminton – in seventh.
Crowd favourites William Fox-Pitt and “old friend” Bay My Hero put in a stellar performance to land them an ERM top 10 finish – his first since the Masters began.
“The Event Rider Masters is the most exciting thing to happen to the Sport of Eventing in my time – and that is saying something,” he said.