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Farewell Sir Barnaby

Sir Barnaby, the horse who launched Pippa Funnell’s eventing career, was put down last week at the age of 27 after a serious bout of colic.

Barnaby was found for Pippa when she was 14. He took her from the Pony Club Championships to Badminton.

The characterful little roan, favoured among spectators, was Pippa’s first horse. She had many battles with him on the flat before he became a winning machine. However, he was fast, a good jumper and had a pony-like cleverness across country.

Stalwarts of Britain’s young rider squad, they won the individual European title in 1987, team gold in 1988 and dual silver medals in 1989. In senior competition, they were fourth at Burghley, fifth at Badminton and won Luhmühlen in 1991.

Sir Barnaby won numerous one-day events; he was a Gatcombe specialist, and he was second in the British Open twice and won the title in 1992. Retired in 1993, Barnaby remained central to Pippa’s yard.

“Making the decision to have Barnaby put down was so hard,” says Pippa. “He achieved far more than he was designed to do because he had a big heart. He never thought of stopping.

“Not only do I owe my career to him, but he has been part of my life for 22 years and was just like a member of the family.”

  • Click here to read more about Pippa’s relationships with Sir Barnaby
  • Supreme Rock (pictured), who cruised to victory at Badminton last year, helping Pippa in her quest for the Rolex Grand Slam, and has been sidelined due to injury since the end of last season, is currently back in gentle work
  • Two of Pippa’s Olympic hopes have been sidelined for the rest of the season. Walk On Star has been suffering from heat in his leg caused by scar tissue from a splint close to his suspensory ligament. He will be rested for a year. Jurassic Rising is off for the season with navicular
  • This article first appeared in Horse & Hound 3rd June issue
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