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Posted on Sep 11, 2019 in Articles

Burghley 2019 Pippa Funnell’s Year – A Year To Remember! – British Riders Take The One Two Three!!

Main image is courtesy of Lucy Hall Photography – all rights reserved and are subject to copyright

Wow what a year it has been and to think Burghley just happened in the blink of an eye and has left us for another year is quite scary!. Where do you start with a such a dramatic event that kept a fast pace throughout the four days! I guess we start by saying that there wasn’t the usual names there this year and it was missing riders like Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Nicola Wilson, Micheal Jung, Harry Meade and Paul Tapner, but in hindsight I think it was nice to see some new faces and names getting the opportunity to compete at this prestigious event.


I still find two days of dressage a little tedious, but being an event rider myself this is probably because thats the phase I have the least enthusiasm for! despite this the turnout standard of these horses gets better and better and the horses and riders all looked very elegant if I do say so myself.. We saw some great dressage tests performed on the Thursday. With Burghley first timer Eliza Stoddart getting a cracking score of 28.7 with Tim Price snapping at her heals with 29.6 . Then Friday the second day of Dressage was just another level! and we saw the leaderboard change. Pippa Funnel who is renowned for always having a good dressage annihilated the field bringing in a score os 22.8  but Oliver Townend in second place does not leave you much room for error on the cross country and neither does Tim Price having two in the top eleven and Jonelle Price in the mix meant that these leaderboard could change. Piggy French has had a great year and was another one to watch so cross country was going to all to play for! British riders taking the top three placings with two others also in the top ten! The Americans also having three riders in the top ten which was a great start for them to.



Dressage Results

Judges : Christina Klingspor SWE-(E) ,   Nick Burton GBR-(C) ,   Xavier Le Sauce FRA-(M)

No   Horse   Rider E C M   Pen   Pl
77 MGH GRAFTON STREET Pippa Funnell 201.0 198.5 203.0 22.8 1
81 BALLAGHMOR CLASS Oliver Townend 190.5 198.5 193.5 25.3 2
80 SPRINGPOWER Izzy Taylor 192.0 194.0 194.5 25.6 3
73 VERMICULUS Lauren Kieffer 189.5 197.5 185.0 26.7 4
52 HARBOUR PILOT Hannah-Sue Burnett 193.0 192.5 185.0 26.9 =5
63 VANIR KAMIRA Piggy French 189.0 190.0 191.0 26.9 =5
45 DENIRO Z Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp 183.5 186.0 189.0 28.4 =7
68 FAERIE DIANIMO Jonelle Price 182.5 195.0 181.0 28.4 =7
22 PRIORSPARK OPPOSITION FREE Eliza Stoddart 185.5 177.0 194.0 28.7 =9
82 RINGWOOD SKY BOY Tim Price 184.0 194.5 178.0 28.7 =9
No   Horse   Rider E C M   Pen   Pl
1 BANGO Tim Price 182.5 184.5 182.0 29.6 =11
29 REVE DU ROUET Sarah Bullimore 181.5 188.0 179.5 29.6 =11

Cross Country :

Well lets face it this is the day that we are all waiting for and its the most thrilling day! This year was by far the most thrilling to watch in a long time,  as the article we wrote : Beast of Burghley revealed in more detail. Only half the riders that started the cross country actually finished! and it saw good riders getting caught out!. The pathfinder Tim Price on Bango made it look easy, but as we went through the day this was found not to be the case.  One of the most impressive results was watching Imogen Murray move from 60th place after the dressage to 8th place after the cross country with a clear round and very few time penalties. We saw lots of thrills like Piggy French’s round which was foot perfect and was the only one of the day to go inside the time. We saw a lovely round from Alicia Hawker and the usual classy ride from Oliver Townend who just looked like a picture in motion. But we saw quite a lot of spills and two very vey unlucky partings of company, George Hilton-Jones whose horse got his stud stuck in his martingale then Tim Price came off as Ringwood Skyboy stumbled and went down in the water at the Lions Bridge just three fences from home!!


Imogen Murray on ivar Gooden has an outstanding cross country run

So with Tim Price on Ringwood Skyboy, Eliza Stoddart, Jonelle Price, and Hannah Sue Burnett all having issues cross country the leaderboard was to change quite a bit after the dressage! In fact only three of the top ten stayed

Sarah Bullimore jumped up to fifth from 11th after her clear round on Reve Du Rouet – though was was a minor moment where she had 15 penalties added but later they were removed so i can imagine they were tense times for her and her team but other than that moment at Clarence Court she completed a lovely round!

Izzy Taylor was going great guns and had a great jump the the Trout Hatchery and The Maltings only to later come to grief at the double of gates – The Land Rover at the Lake putting her self and spring power out of the mix.

Pippa Funnell on MGH Grafton Street (lucky number 77) was second to last to go and seen as she withdrew her other ride – Billy Walk On – prior to the cross country and then watching all the others have issues I wondered if she would run, but she did, AND WHAT A RIDE SHE GAVE THIS HORSE!!. There was a brief moment at the Leaf Pit where ‘Squirrel’ was a touch sticky but the crowd was rooting for her willing her all along the way of the course!. Again Pippa had to work hard at the Trout Hatchery but they got away with it , they had a great ride through The Maltings and through The Rolex Combination. They got a good shot at the Cottesmore Leap and we witnessed a brilliant piece of riding from her through Clarence Court. There was a another brief moment at the Lion Bridge but she was fine and then all the way home the crowds were willing her on and those at home were on the edge of their seats, was she going to make the time??? well she was only ten seconds over so retained the lead which was an incredible feat!!!


Pippa Funnell goes clear cross country to retain the lead going forward to show jumping

The question now was would these top ten horses come out ok for the morning trot up? and could Pippa conjure up a clear round out of Squirrel? Her showjumping Husband William Funnell was over in Belgium and was due to show jump in the Grand Prix on the Sunday so who would be helping her warm up and help get the clear round she was going to need to win?. Again the brits retained the top three places with three others in the top ten. The Americans hadn’t had quite as good a day, but had a couple of riders just knocking on the door in 11th and 12th.

 Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 18.49.20The trot up 

This saw a few getting held but passing through on a second inspection. Though there was one withdrawal prior to the trot up and poor James Somerville did not pass the trot up :

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 11.12.37With all horses going through the vet inspection that were in the top ten then it was going to be all to play for in the show jumping and each pole was going to be very costly.

Showjumping :

Well this is where the tensions start to rise and each pole could be costly. The riders that went forward to showjumping were split into two sessions one taking place in the morning and the rest would jump in the afternoon. The morning session had only seven riders in it to jump of which three went clear: Nicky Hill on MGH Bingo Boy was the first rider to jump clear …and it was great to see her horse looking fresh and keen after the rigours of the cross country the previous day she finished her Burghley in 27th place . This was then followed by a clear round from the American Rider Will Coleman on Tight Lines, who’s round was very fluent and beautiful to watch as he kept the horse moving forward and made it look so easy and relaxed, just another day in the office, he finished his Burghley in 25th place. The last clear of the morning session was Dan Jocelyn on Blackthorn Cruise who gave the fences plenty of air and looked impressively fresh resulting in them finishing 24th.

So with three clears in the morning and the time not looking tight the afternoon was going to be all about who can go clear. Well the answer is as followers as only seven more riders went clear in the afternoon which saw the leaderboard shuffle a bit more. Unfortunately for Becky Woolvern on DHI Bebbette K three poles were fairly costly and dropped her out of the top ten to eventually finish in 13th place. Ludwig Svenerstal on Stinger also rolled a couple of poles dropping him from 4th to 8th and allowing the riders such as Tim price on Bango, Imogen Murray on Ivar Gooden and Sarah Bullimore who all jumped clear to move up the leaderboard.


Imogen Murray jumps clear on ivar Gooden to 6th place from 60th after the Dressage

So the final three to jump where Oliver, Piggy, and Pippa and though there was a couple of poles between them and 4th place there was not even one pole between them and not even 1 time penalty between Pippa and Piggy, so they really couldn’t afford to be not jumping clear, one by one they went in,


Oliver Jumps his way to 3rd place on Ballaghmor Class

Oliver unfortunately had a pole so though he wasn’t going to be out of the top three it all depended on how Piggy and Pippa jumped as to what his final placing would be. Piggy was next in the ring and she couldn’t have more than one pole to stay where she was and a clear round would put the pressure on Pippa however they also had a pole, so she was definitely second and could win if Pippa was to have more than one fence. i felt very tense and nerves were running for Pippa Funnell so who knows how she was feeling!!.

pippa funnell

Pippa jumping her way to another Burghley title – a sweet sixteen years after she last won it in 2003

Unbelievably and unexpectadly William Funnell had flown back to help Pippa missing his own Grand Prix and it paid off!! Just the one fence meant that Pippa had done it !!!, a very sweet sixteen years after she won here in 2003 as part of her Rolex Grand Slam win she wins Burghley yet again!! It was a very deserved win, as she has always been knocking at the door and hasn’t had an easy few years of it previously so it was so nice to see her luck change!!.

pippa wins burghley 2019 pippa funnel wins

So to sum it up, The British led the way in 1st,2nd and 3rd place from the start with Pippa leading the way from start to finish, with three other British riders in the top ten. The Americans took 9th and 10th and Tim Price made sure the Kiwi’s still had a hand in the top ten which he absolutely served after a very classy run on Bango!!



No   Horse   Rider Dres XC
S.J. Total Pl
22.8 1
26.8 1
4.0 30.8 1
63 VANIR KAMIRA Piggy French
26.9 5
26.9 2
4.0 30.9 2
81 BALLAGHMOR CLASS Oliver Townend
25.3 2
27.3 3
4.0 31.3 3
29 REVE DU ROUET Sarah Bullimore
29.6 11
39.6 5
39.6 4
1 BANGO Tim Price
29.6 11
41.6 7
41.6 5
39 IVAR GOODEN Imogen Murray
40.4 60
44.4 8
44.4 6
79 SANTIAGO BAY Gemma Tattersall
29.9 14
41.1 6
4.0 45.1 7
5 STINGER Ludwig Svennerstal
32.8 29
38.8 4
8.0 46.8 8
73 VERMICULUS Lauren Kieffer
26.7 4
53.1 11
53.1 9
38.1 48
53.7 12
4.0 57.7 10
No   Horse   Rider Dres XC
S.J. Total Pl
40 SARAH D’ARGOUGES Sebastien Cavaillon
29.8 13
49.0 9
12.0 61.0 11
23 INDY 500 Andrea Baxter
37.6 46
56.8 13
5.2 62.0 12
21 DHI BABETTE K Becky Woolven
33.0 30
52.2 10
12.0 64.2 13
65 CAMEMBERT Emily Philp
33.3 31
66.5 18
66.5 14
45 DENIRO Z Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp
28.4 7
62.8 15
4.0 66.8 15
24 CHARLES RR Alicia Hawker
38.5 51
64.1 17
4.0 68.1 16
20 GOLDSMITHS IMBER Arthur Chabert
39.7 58
62.9 16
8.0 70.9 17
61 LCC BARNABY Lillian Heard
39.1 54
67.9 20
4.0 71.9 18
4 BRADELEY LAW Michael Owen
38.5 51
14.0 20
72.5 22
72.5 19
33 ON THE BRASH Caroline Powell
37.1 43
67.1 19
8.0 75.1 20

So Burghley has been and gone, who will be returning next year to have another crack at it?, will see Pippa back defending her Title?  I guess thats something we shall all just have wait for and see. For now i would like to say what an amazing event this has been. The emotional farewell to  Sir Mark Todd somehow felt a very fitting ceremony amongst all the thrills and spills the cross country had given us the day before. I also wanted to say how good the dressage commentary was with Bobby Hayler and the cross country was just an excellent commentary from Ian Stark OBE again another eventing legend. I think this Burghley will stick in my mind for some time to come.

Farewell Burghley 2019 it’s been a pleasure.

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