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Pippa is sportswoman of the year

Pippa Funnell has been awarded The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Award, ahead of a host of top female athletes including marathon runner Paula Radcliffe and top 800m runner Kelly Holmes.

The past 12 months has seen Pippa triumph at Badminton, Kentucky and Burghley four-stars to take the Rolex Grand Slam, as well as Saumur and Blenheim.

She was instrumental in Britain winning team gold at the Europeans in Punchestown, despite her top ride Supreme Rock being sidelined, and claimed individual bronze on Walk on Star. Her other achievements at top level include being placed second at Chatsworth, third at Bramham and fourth at Le Lion d’Angers.

Pippa became the first woman to lead the FEI world rider rankings in October this year and adds The Sunday Times award to the new HOYS Equestrian of the Year award, which she flew in from Punchestown to receive.

The ceremony took place yesterday (Wednesday 26 November) at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, in London and also recognised the efforts of women who work tirelessly behind the scenes, lifetime achievements, and newcomers.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Pippa has also earned her chance to be considered for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, although whether anyone can beat Jonny Wilkinson after his fantastic performance in the Rugby World Cup remains to be seen.

If 34-year-old Pippa succeeds, she will be the oldest female winner in the history of the award.

Voting started on Saturday and closes at 6pm on 8 December. Viewers can vote by phone (tel: 09011 110 830) for the cost of 25p per call or via the BBC website at: www.bbc.co.uk/sportspersonality

The award will be presented at a special 50th anniversary edition of Sports Review of the Year, on BBC1 at 8pm on 14 December.

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