The first horse to win Badminton back-to-back for 15 years and the first to win two Europeans, Pippa once thought “Rocky” would be too laid-back to be a champion, but he is always inspired by a sense of occasion. The Irish-bred 16.3hh 15-year-old, owned by the Pitt-Lewthwaite Syndicate, is by Edmund Burke out of Rineen Classic. Long-listed for the Athens Olympics
This 10-year-old by Mayhill, out of Roder and Joanna Day’s successful event mare Primmore Hill, has been produced by Pippa from the start and she believes his best is still to come. “He is the only horse I’ve had from a young age who I’ve known was going to go all the way.” Gave Pippa two of the three legs of her grand slam at Kentucky and Burghley. Long-listed for the Athens Olympics.
Another horse with a great record — 5th Burghley 2001, 1st Pau 2002 and 6th at Badminton last time. Susie Cranston’s smartly bred 11-year-old gelding by Neltino out of a Lord Gayle mare, who came to Pippa as an advanced horse, is a classy galloper and jumper but initially was not the easiest on the flat. Long-listed for the Athens Olympics
Now 11, Anne Burnet’s handsome bay by Primitive Rising has been placed at numerous international events, including third at Bramham, and this year won Blenheim. Long-listed for the Athens Olympics
Walk On Star
Star of the show at Punchestown, where he jumped a double clear on his championship debut. A dual three-star winner, of Bramham 2002 and Saumur this year, the 10-year-old is home-bred by Ben Faerie — sire of two European Champions, Priceless and Night Cap — out of Nick and Barbara Walkinshaw’s eventing mare Mystery Spirit. Long-listed for the Athens Olympics
Sue Bunn’s immaculately behaved stallion was bred “by accident” when his American show jumper sire, VIP, jumped in with one of Sue Bunn’s Thoroughbred mares. The switch from show jumping to eventing when he was eight has been highly successful; he was leading British-bred event horse of 2001 and recently third at Blenheim. Long-listed for the Athens Olympics
Ian and Janet MacIntyre’s nine-year-old, also by Edmund Burke, is back after a year off. Pippa has described him as “very talented but very naughty” — he won Burgie in 2001 and was fourth at Pau last autumn.
Matter Of Fact
Sarah Jewson’s seven-year-old by Kildalton Jewel provided Pippa’s last cross-country ride of 2003 when finishing fourth at Le Lion d’Angers. He is advanced and will be hunted this winter by Pippa’s former head girl, Nini French.
An ex-racehorse owned by Pippa’s mother, Jenny Nolan, he was passed on by trainer Ben Case and is now intermediate.
The newest addition and a cause of much excitement — Pippa has only competed him once, at South of England, where he won the open novice. A seven-year-old by Rock King, he is owned and bred by Sarah Johnson at Golden Cross, Sussex, and won the Hartpury CCI* in 2002 with Fiona Cardrick.
Laspen Rock Star
Pippa decribes this horse as “my wonderful five-year-old, whom I hope is going to be a serious one. I got him last year with my Badminton money, so Rocky bought him.”
He is another by Rock King and Pippa spotted him when his previous rider, Penny Husk, brought him to a lecture-demo.
“I bought the horse having not sat on him because I’d ruptured my ankle and I asked Blyth Tait to try him. He’s got a fantastic attitude and he’s very bold.” He is now owned by Robert and Jo Tomkinson and was second in the Burghley Young Event Horse final. The intention is to give him an easy 2004.
Don’t miss the eight-page Pippa Funnell interview, in the current issue on Horse & Hound (20 November) on sale NOW