It was a good week at the office for Britain’s riders as they notched up a win in the team competition at Boekelo, with Pippa Funnell, Lucy Wiegersma and Jo Chipperfield leading the fray. The individual title, however, was snatched by German rider Bettina Hoy.
On the surface of things, it may have been Hoy’s day on Sunday as she took the CCI*** title at Boekelo on Diamond Magic with a double clear, but as far as she is concerned, the Olympic nightmare continues.
After losing both the eventing team and individual gold medal on a technical error, the German rider has now become embroiled in the latest Athens furore – her Olympic ride, Ringwood Cockatoo (pictured) is one of four horses to have tested positive for a banned substance during the competition.
Pippa Funnell has no such worries. These days she channels her inner agitation, brought on by nerves, to exceed even her own high expectations. Riding her and her mother’s Ensign in his first three-star, Funnell kept her outer cool to secure second place with a neat dressage test and just 0.8 cross country time penalties to add to their total.
She considers the ex-racehorse to be a possible for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and his meteoric rise through the ranks – this is just his third season on the circuit – bodes well for the future.
Andrew Nicholson was close behind with Duddles, finishing seventh on his second ride Flush Banker. The New Zealander has had a season of near misses – he was second to William Fox-Pitt at Badminton, second to Pippa Funnell at Chatsworth, second to Fox-Pitt at Lulworth, third at Burghley and third at Blenheim.
William Fox-Pitt was once again best by problems on the cross country, He had been leading the competition after the dressage, following a superb performance on Parkmore Ed. But their runner-up success at Bramham was not to be repeated – the pair struggled on the cross country on Saturday, eventually pulling up just beyond the halfway stage.
Other British riders who successfully completed the competition included Lucy Wiegersma, who finished in a creditable ninth place on Friday Morning. This was the combination’s first attempt at three-star level, and they looked impressive in all three phases.
Further down the scoreboard, with just four points between them, were Jo May with Faere Vision, Darrell Scaife with Ben Auk, Rodney Powell with Liquid Ice and Jo Chipperfield with Ferndale Ballyheen.
Boekelo final results:
1. Great Britain 178.8
2. Germany 189.0
3. Australia 220.4
4. Netherlands 261.4
1. Diamond Magic (Bettina Hoy GER) 43.0
2. Ensign (Pippa Funnell) 44.6
3. Duddles (Andrew Nicholson NZL) 47.0
4. Yeomans Point (Andrew Hoy AUS) 49.4
5. Ypaja Karuso (Piia Pantsu FIN) 51.0
6. Leonas Dancer (Elmar Lesch GER) 54.8