Pippa Funnell retained her Mitsubishi Motors Trophy at Badminton – but only just. An agonisingly slow show jumping round, in which she had the first part of the treble down, brought her within 0.4 penalties of runner-up Piia Pantsu on Ypaja Karuso, who made history as the first Finn to compete at Badminton.
It was the second successive Sunday that Pippa had put her connections through hell, as at Kentucky last weekend she clocked up six time faults to finish on the same score as the runner-up, Polly Stockton, who lost out due to her cross-country time penalties.
“What a horse,” exclaimed a tearful Pippa. “I certainly was a bit of a slow cog and it was very close, but a win’s a win!”
It was a just result for Jeanette Brakewell, third after cross-country before the re-adjustments to time, who jumped clear and back into her rightful third place, finishing on her dressage score on Richard Holdsworth’s Over To You.
British riders filled five out of the top six places, for Mary King rose to fourth place on Gill Robinson and Ascot Timber Building’s King Solomon III and Leslie Law finished fifth, for the second week running, on a Shearwater Insurance Horse, this time Shear H20, while Pippa was sixth on Cornerman, who had two rails down.
Andrew Hoy was seventh, his best Badminton result, on Anona Young’s Mr Pracatan, and his compatriot Phillip Dutton was eighth on Hannigan.
Bettina Hoy, on Ringwood Cockatoo, rose to ninth place, also her best Badminton result, with one of only three clear rounds in the afternoon, while Irish debutant Trish Donegan was 10th on former international rider Van der Vater’s striking grey Don’t Step Back.
There wereonly five clear show jumping rounds, the other two coming from Carole Dennis, 30th, and Blyth Tait, 38th, while Andrew Nicholson was the biggest loser, dropping from fourth to 13th with four down on Mr Smiffy.
1. Pippa Funnell on Supreme Rock, 44;
2. Piia Pantsu on Ypaja Karuso, 44.4;
3. Jeanette Brakewell on Over To You, 47.4;
4. Mary King on King Solomon III, 52.8;
5. Leslie Law on Shear H20, 53.4;
6. Pippa Funnell on Cornerman, 55;
7. Andrew Hoy on Mr Pracatan, 56.8;
8. Phillip Dutton on Cayman Went, 57.8;
9. Bettina Hoy on Ringwood Cockatoo, 58.2;
10. Trish Donegan on Don’t Step Back, 60;
11. Andrew Nicholson on Fenicio, 62.4;
12. Tina Cook on Captain Christy, 64.4.