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Norfolk star Piggy thrills Houghton fans with some French & Saunders

PUBLISHED: 18:47 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 20:38 26 May 2017

Action from the second day of the Houghton International Horse Trials. Picture: Ian Burt

Action from the second day of the Houghton International Horse Trials. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

Piggy French, who grew up in Norfolk, leads the Two Star competition at the end of the dressage phase at Houghton International Trials.

French, who now lives in Northamptonshire, posted the lowest dressage score riding Susie Wood’s nine-year-old Morswood, holding Horinger’s resident Kiwi Caroline Powell in second place with Flipper K.

Overnight leader Will Furlong has dropped to fifth while Ros Canter, who finished best Brit and highest-placed lady rider at Badminton earlier this month, has two horses in the top 12. Emily King currently heads the Two Star British National Under 21 Championship leaderboard.

In the One Star, local riders are rather down the order, and French has again set the standard with comedian Jennifer Saunders’ Cooley Monsoon – a whole new French & Saunders show is unfolding.

The cross country action starts at 9.30am today. There is also show jumping and arena eventing, and for anyone wanting an insider’s view of tackling a cross country course there is a guided course walk of the Three Star course at 3pm, led by Imogen Murray – register your interest by emailing jenny@musketeer.co.uk. A minimum £10 donation to the East Anglian Air Ambulance is required.

Looking forward to tomorrow, there is more dressage, show jumping and all of the Three Star cross country action – Three Star is the highest level of class running at Houghton – which starts at 11am and is the final phase of the FEI Nations Cup.

The British team are currently looking strong at this early stage with good dressage performances by both British number one Oliver Townend, riding Arctic Mouse, currently lying fourth and Will Furlong, riding Collien P 2, in seventh.

Furlong is actually sitting in the runners-up spot on Livingstone II, his 2016 British National Under 21 Champion partner, with Townend third on Note Worthy, but these are not their team horses. Sitting at the top of the Three Star pack is Germany’s Andreas Ostholt and So Is Et, another combination who have a good record at Houghton having placed third in 2014. Finally tomorrow there is camel racing in aid of the Air Ambulance. This will take place at approximately midday and again at 3.30pm.

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