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Pippa Funnell Lives up to Her Towering Reputation at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

Posted on | September 25, 2015 | No Comments

The three time Olympic medallist guided her horse to a dressage score of 43.0 and eighth place on day one of the horse trails, putting her in a strong position heading into Saturday’s competitions with Germany’s Michael Jung. Funnell, who can be booked through the celebrity talent agency MN2S, took silver for the team event at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, and said she couldn’t have asked for a better horse to have under her on Saturday on the world-famous Burghley cross-country course.

“The course is seriously hilly. The first three minutes is all pull up so we’ve got to be careful how we ride the first half of the course. It’s a big course but Redesigned has excellent scope,” said Funnell. “The biggest challenge will be controlling his enthusiasm. It’s no secret that he’s a big horse for me, but you couldn’t be sat on a nicer one, really.”

Burghley is one of just six, four-star rated events in the world each year, and prides itself on its tough cross-country course and world-class field. The multi-award winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (LRBHT) has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the Autumn Sporting Calendar for over 50 years.

Other than her success at LRBHT, Funnell has had a busy summer, riding for the August NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials, producing two excellent dressage tests to occupy both first and second place on the leaderboard ahead of the remaining competitors. Funnell hit the summit with 40.6 on Billy the Biz and also took second place riding rising star, Sandman7, with whom she topped the podium in the 3* at Chatsworth, with a score of 42.2.

Funnell was born in Crowborough, East Sussex, beginning her prosperous career at the age of 16, when she persuaded her parents to allow her to leave school to pursue the sport. She began training with Ruth McMullin, establishing one of the sport’s most renowned training partnerships.

In 1999 she became European Champion at Luhmühlen, riding Supreme Rock, and again on the same horse in 2001 at Pau (“Les Etoiles de Pau”). She was a member of the British teams that won silver at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, bronze at the World Equestrian Games in 2002, and silver again at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In addition, Funnell won the individual bronze medal at Athens.

To add to her myriad of achievements, in 2003 she became the first rider ever to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Adding the Burghley title to her victories earlier in the year at Lexington and Badminton, Funnell earned a $250,000 bonus from Rolex and a place in the history books. As a result of her accomplishments 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.

Funnell’s accomplishments also include winning the Badminton Horse Trials three times, in 2002, 2003 and 2005. She has won both the Blenheim venue and Windsor Horse Trials four times as well and is the only rider yet to do so.

Other than her sporting endeavours, Funnell has made a successful move into the media world via gaming and writing. Ubisoft has released a number of horse videogames starring Pippa Funnell since 2005, including the Pippa Funnell: Stable Adventure on Game Boy Advance, and most recently, Pippa Funnell: Ranch Rescue, released in 2007 on PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii. Funnell has been featured on DVDs produced by Equestrian Vision, including Pippa Funnell, Road to the Top and The Funnell Factor.

Pippa Funnell is also the author of the popular series of children’s books called Tilly’s Pony Tails, published in the UK by Orion Children’s Books.

Pippa also finds time to appear as a guest speaker for many events throughout the country. If you would like to book Pippa as a celebrity for your event, please contact one of MN2S’s agents.



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