British Olympic rider Pippa Funnell (50), who is based near Dorking in Surrey, is a former three-time winner of Badminton and former European Champion. She last competed here in 2018 with Billy Beware with who she was 6th in 2014. With Badminton entry Majas Hope she was 13th at Burghley last year.
In 2016 she was a member of the team for the Rio Olympic Games (Billy the Biz) and in 2015 was a member of the British team that won silver at the European Championships and was 8th individually (Sandman 7). She first competed at Badminton in 1988 and etched her name into the eventing history books when in 2003 she became the first winner of the Rolex Grand Slam (for consecutive wins at Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley). Pippa now also competes in international showjumping.
Aged 16, after leaving school she based herself with trainer Ruth McMullen. In 1987 she became European Young Rider Champion with Sir Barnaby who the following year gave Pippa her first ride at Badminton. Since then she has become one of the sports leading riders. She has won team Olympic silver medals in Athens (2004) and Sydney (2000) and was crowned European Champion in 1999 and 2001. As a result of her achievements she was voted the 2003 Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year and was in the top five of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. In 2005 Pippa received an MBE. During a few years out of the limelight, Pippa helped establish the Billy Stud with husband international show jumper William Funnell (married in 1993) – who won team gold at the 2013 European showjumping Championships – and breeder Donal Barnwell. In 2009 she returned to the top winning Bramham three-star and selection for the WEG in Kentucky with Redesigned where they gained fifth place running as individuals. In 2013 she was back in the British team and competed at the European Championships with Mirage D’Elle. She also won the Tattersalls three-day with Billy Beware.
Pippa is also a renowned producer of young horses, having won a record number of Burghley Young Event Horses classes and now helps to produce and compete young show jumpers for the Billy Stud competing to two-star grand prix. Pippa has also written and had published a series of children’s story books called “Tilly’s Pony Tails” and has helped develop a range of computer games. She is a patron of the charity World Horse Welfare.
Pippa trains with Tracie Robinson and William Funnell.
Billy Beware is a 15-year-old British-bred gelding. He was bred by Donal Barnwell of the Billy Stud and is by the World leading jumping stallion Kannan out of Dollar Day by the leading jumping and eventing sire Cavalier Royale. Dollar Day is also the dam of Billy Dollar who is the dam of the stallion Billy Dinero (by Cevin Z) Billy Beware was 6th at Badminton in 2014 and selected for the WEG but did not compete due to injury. He has won at one, two and three star level – in 2013 he was the winner of Tattersalls three-star. He is a full brother to Billy Grand who won the Queen Elizabeth at the Royal International.
MGH Grafton Street is an Irish-bred 11-year-old gelding. He is by leading sire OBOS Quality (the sire of OBOS Cooley, Fernhill Quality Street) – his dam is not recorded. He was acquired by Lucy Wiegersma and then formerly ridden by Andrew Nicholson before coming to Pippa in 2015. He was 6th at Blenheim last year. This is the horse’s first at the level.
Billy Walk On is a 10-year-old British-bred gelding. He was bred by the Billy Stud and is by the homebred stallion Billy Mexico out of Shannon Line by Golden Bash – Shannon Line is also the dam of Badminton entry Billy Liffy and the dam of Billy Shannon formerly long-listed for London 2012. This is his first event at the level.
Majas Hope is a 12-year-old Irish-bred Irish Sport Horse gelding. He is by the thoroughbred Porter Rhodes (also the sire of Ballylynch Skysport) out of a mare by Flagmount King. He has been ridden by Pippa since 2015 having been produced by former European Junior champion Anna Wilks who previoulsy produced young horses at the Billy Stud. He was 12th in his first four-star at Burghley in 2018.
16.3hh , bay , gelding
Dam Dollar Day (Cavalier)
Breeder Donal Barnwell
Owner(s): Jonathan & Jane Clarke, Dorking, Surrey