Wednesday 3rd May
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Sunday 7th May, 2023
#BadmintonHorseTrials

Pippa Funnell

Great Britain
  • 107 - Billy Walk On
  • 2 - Majas Hope

Biography

British Olympic rider Pippa Funnell (53), who is based near Dorking in Surrey, is a former three-time winner of Badminton and former European Champion. She competed here in 2019 (16th Majas Hope) and later that year won Burghley with Badminton entry MGH Grafton Street. Last year she took top places in the 5* at Bicton with Billy Walk On 2nd, and Maja’s Hope 5th. Pippa is currently #14 in the FEI world rider ranking.

Pippa is one of the world’s most successful riders and a long-standing member of the British team. In 2019, with Maja’s Hope, she was a member of the British team that won silver at the European Championships in Luhmuhlen – 20 years after her first senior team appearance in 1999. 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).

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. 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 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. In 2015 she was a member of the British team that won silver at the European Championships and was 8th individually (Sandman 7) and the following year was a member of the team for the Rio Olympic Games (Billy the Biz).

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 22 children’s story books which are being re-launched next spring. She is a patron of the charity World Horse Welfare and a mentor and trainer for The Wesko (formerly Windrush) Equestrian Foundation.

Pippa trains with husband William Funnell, Carl Hester and GB squad trainers.

MGH Grafton Street (aka Squirrel) owned by Jonathan and Jane Clarke, is an Irish-bred 14-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. In 2019 he was the winner of Burghley 5* – his first event at the level. He is described by Pippa as ‘the joker and naughty character of the yard’.

Billy Walk On owned by Nick and Barbara Walkinshaw, is a 13-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 4* horses Billy Liffy and Billy Shannon formerly long-listed for London 2012. Pippa has trained him from the start and the combination was the winner of the BE Young Horse 6-year-old championship at Osberton. In 2019 he contested Badminton but did not complete but later was 6th at Blenheim 4*L and in 2021 was 2nd in the 5* at Bicton. He is described as the ‘gentleman of the yard’ and is adored by Pippa.

Majas Hope owned by Marek Sebestak and rider, is a 15-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 and 5th in the 5* at Bicton in 2021.

 

Entries

Billy Walk On

AES, United Kingdom, 2009
17.0hh , bay , gelding

Sire Billy Mexico

Dam Shannon Line (Golden Bash)

Breeder Donal Barnwell

Owner(s): Nick & Barbara Walkinshaw

Majas Hope

ISH, Ireland, 2007
16.2hh , bay , gelding

Sire Porter Rhodes

Dam Brown Sue (Flagmount King)

Breeder Jack Murphy

Owner(s): Marek Sebestak
& Rider

Withdrawn

Billy Beware

AES, United Kingdom, 2004
16.3hh , bay , gelding

Sire Kannan

Dam Dollar Day (Cavalier )

Breeder Donal Barnwell

Owner(s): Jonathan & Jane Clarke, Dorking, Surrey

MGH Grafton Street

ISH, Ireland, 2008
16.1hh , bay , gelding

Sire O.B.O.S Quality

Owner(s): Jonathan & Jane Clarke

Notable Results

2021 – Bicton CCI5* 2nd Billy Walk On, 5th Majas Hope

2019 – Hartpury CCI4*S 5th MGH Grafton Street

2019 – Burghley CCI5* 1st MGH Grafton Street, w/d Billy Walk On

2019 – Blenheim CCI4*L 6th Billy Walk On

2019 – Luhmuhlen CH-EU-CCI4*L 22nd Majas Hope (team silver)

2018 – Blenheim CCI3* 6th MGH Grafton Street, 50th Billy Walk On

2018 – Burghley 13th Majas Hope

2018 – Luhmuhlen CCI4* ret Billy Beware

2017 – Luhmuhlen CCI4* 10th Billy the Biz

2016 – Le Lions CH-M-YH-CCI2* 2nd Billy Walk On

2016 – Osberton CICYH2* 2nd Billy Walk On

2016 – Burghley CCI4* El Second Supreme

2016 – Rio OG 26th Billy the Biz

2016 – Ballindenisk CCi3* 1st Billy the Biz

2015 – Osberton CICYH1* 1st Billy Walk On

2015 – Blair Castle CH-EU-CCI3* 8th Sandman 7 (team silver)

2013 – Burghley CCI4* 17th Redesigned

2013 – Malmo CH-EU-3* 40th Mirage D’Elle

2011 – Burghley CCI4* 28th Mirage D’Elle, 30th Pure Addiction

2004 – Athens OG 3rd (Primmores Pride)

2003 – Punchestown Eu-Ch-CCI3* 3rd (Walk On Star)

2003 – Burghley CCI4* 1st (Primmores Pride)

2003 – Lexington KY CCI4* 1st (Primmores Pride)

2002 – Jerez WEG 13th (Supreme Rock)

2001 – Pau EU-CH 1st (Supreme Rock), team gold

1999 – Fontainebleau EU-CH 1st (Supreme Rock), team gold

 

Badminton

2019 – 16th Maja’s Hope, ret Billy Walk On

2018 – ret Billy Beware

2015 – 12th Redesigned, 23rd Second Supreme

2014 – 6th Billy Beware, El Redesigned

2013 – 56th Redesigned

2011 – W/D after dressage Mirage D’Elle

2005 – 1st Primmores Pride

2003 – 1st Supreme Rock

2002 – 1st Supreme Rock

1999 – 6th Supreme Rock

1998 – Ret’d XC Bits and Pieces

1997 – 9th Bits and Pieces

1993 – Ret’d XC Metronome

1992 – 14th Sir Barnaby

1990 – 5th Sir Barnaby

1989 – Ret’d XC Sir Barnaby

1988 – 27th Sir Barnaby