Fifteen years after winning the National Championship with Sir Barnaby, Pippa Funnell has firmly established herself as one of the worlds leading three day event riders and in May 2005 won her third Badminton title.
In 2003 Pippa Funnel became the first equestrian event rider to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing by adding the Burghley title to her earlier victories at Lexington and Badminton. She earned a $250,000 bonus from Rolex and a place in the history books.
As a result of Pippa’s phenomenal achievements she was voted Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year 2003 and was in the top five of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
That same year she also became the first rider to win Blenheim International Horse Trials three times, taking the £10,000 first prize with Jurassic Rising and finishing third with Viceroy.
Pippa Funnell went to Punchestown in Ireland to defend the individual European title that she had won in 1999 and 2001.
Without the great Supreme Rock, on whom she had won her two previous titles, she narrowly failed to make it three in a row, clinching a bronze medal with the inexperienced Walk On Star and helping the British team to win their fifth successive team title.
Pippa finished the year as the number one ranked rider in the world.
In 2004 as part of the British Olympic team in Athens Pippa was one of the favourites for the individual gold but the new ‘short format’ of the Olympic three day event did not suit the headstrong Primmore’s Pride and time faults on the cross country dropped them down the order after a brilliant dressage.
Nevertheless, a typically polished performance in the final show jumping phase earned them an individual bronze medal and helped to clinch silver for the team
After returning from Athens, Pippa once again dominated the Blenheim International Horse Trials, winning the trophy for the fourth time with Viceroy.
Despite a successful career as a junior and young rider, Pippa at first struggled to establish herself as a senior international. Too often she would put up a brilliant performance in the dressage phase and then throw it away with mistakes on the cross country course. By her own admission she suffered from nerves that were threatening to ruin her career.
Help from a sports psychologist has produced a dramatic change and since winning her first European title in 1999, she has become the backbone of the British team, winning three European team gold medals, Olympic team silver in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 and team bronze at the World Equestrian Games in 2002.
In May 2005 Pippa Funnell clinched her third Badminton title, this time with Primmores Pride; leading from the start and narrowly defeating her great rival William Fox-Pitt on Tamarillo.
However, after a disappointing performance in the British Open Championship at Gatcombe Park in August, Primmores Pride was found to be off colour and was withdrawn from the British team for the European Championships.
This brought promising ex-racehorse Ensign into the frame meaning that Pippa had lost her team spot and would compete as an individual. Although still relatively inexperienced Ensign rose to the challenge to finish ninth.
Pippa Funnell is married to international show jumper William Funnell and lives in Forest Green, near Cranleigh.
Pippa Funnell Career Achievements …
- Completed Le Lion CCI** 2006 (Matter of Opinion)
- 1st 4 y.o. Breeding Championship 2006 (Billy Landretti)
- 11th South of England CIC** 2006 (Opposition Heracles)
- 2nd Blenheim CCI*** 2006 (Ensign)
- 11th Hartpury CIC*** 2006 (Ensign)
- 2nd Brightling Park CIC** 2006 (Kif D Estruval)
- 4th Tattersalls CCI** 2006 (Kif D Estruval)
- 5th Punchestown CCI*** 2006 (Chamrock)
- 4th Punchestown CCI** 2006 (Matter of Opinion)
- 2nd Boekelo CCI *** 2004 (Ensign)
- 1st Necarne CCI ** 2004 (Chamrock)
- 1st Necarne CCI ** 2004 (Ensign)
- 1st Blenheim CCI *** 2004 (Viceroy)
- Team silver and individual bronze Olympic Games, Athens, Greece 2004 (Primmore’s Pride)
- 3rd Lulworth CIC ** 2004 (Blue Horizon)
- 1st Chatsworth CIC*** 2004 (Primmore’s Pride)
- 2nd Somerley Park CIC ** 2004 (Ensign)
- 7th Somerley Park CIC ** 2004 (Chamrock)
- 8th Boekelo CCI*** 2005 (Walk on Star)
- 9th European Championships Blenheim 2005 (Ensign)
- 1st Windsor CCI ** 2005 (Blue Horizon)
- 6th Saumur CCI *** 2005 (Cornerman)
- 1st Badminton CCI **** 2005 (Primmore’s Pride)
- 4th Le Lion d’Angers CCI ** 2003 (Matter of Fact)
- Team gold and individual bronze European Championships, Punchestown, Ireland 2003 (Walk On Star)
- 1st Blenheim CCI *** 2003 (Jurassic Rising)
- 3rd Blenheim CCI *** 2003 (Viceroy II)
- 1st Burghley CCI **** 2003 (Primmore’s Pride)
- 3rd Bramham CCI *** 2003 (Jurassic Rising)
- 1st Saumur CCI *** 2003 (Walk On Star)
- 1st Badminton CCI **** 2003 (Supreme Rock)
- 6th Badminton CCI **** 2003 (Cornerman)
- 1st Lexington CCI **** 2003 (Primmore’s Pride)