Third Badminton victory for Funnell

  • The Roger and Denise Lincoln-owned Primmore’s Pride today gave Pippa Funnell her third Badminton win, excelling in all three disciplines and leading from start to finish. However Tamarillo and William Fox-Pitt gave them a good run for their £50,000 prize money, nipping at their heels throughout this year’s event.

    “Why doesn’t this happen when we are on the same championship team?” joked William, “Why does it always happen at Badminton when we are trying to beat each other to death?”

    Not quite death perhaps, but Pippa admitted that the pressure today was almost as bad as during the final leg of her grand slam win: “When I heard that William had gone clear, it got quite bad. But you just have to blank every single thought out of your mind other than the job in hand.”

    Afterwards, with a win under her belt and the pressure off, Pippa was able to joke about the rivalry between the long-standing friends: “I saw a black cat cross the road while I was talking to William earlier, and I was about to point to him and say look, but I thought no, I need all the luck myself!”

    It is a great achievement to see Tamarillo back at the top following his misfortune in Athens last September. According to William, the 2004 Badminton champion had been playing the fool all week. “The trouble is that he has come back here with all the buzz and excitement of having won here last year, and he just thinks he’s the bees’ knees. I could wish that he had behaved less cheekily in the dressage.”

    It is hard to ignore the fact that had the part-Arab gelding been at his best during the dressage, things could have been a little different today, but ultimately no real regrets for William: “He has been a star all week,” said William. “Thank God I rode him better in the show jumping than last year!”

    The two British riders staved off an Australasian challenge from Andrew Hoy and Andrew Nicholson who were kept from the top spot once again.

    It has been a week marred by bad luck for the New Zealander Nicholson. He was sorely disappointed by Lord Killinghurst’s dressage on Friday, and this morning, his second ride Fenicio was spun at the final inspection.

    More luck for Hoy however, who had finished on his dressage scores on both of his rides, in spite of poles bouncing out of their cups and back in again. He took eventual third and sixth place with Master Monarch and Mr Pracatan. This is the first time he has succeeded in finishing in the top three since his first ride at Badminton in 1979.

    “On my first ride round Badminton all those years ago I only got as far as fence 11. Finally, finally I have made it to the podium!” he said.

    British youngster Kitty Boggis has shown all the promise in the world this week. She added just a few cross-country time penalties to her dressage score to finish seventh overall with Five Boys. This was the first attempt at four-star level for the former under-25 champion, but the combination continues to go from strength to strength.

    She was not the only first-timer to bring a tear to the eye. Yoshiaki Oiwa, from Japan, lying seventh after the dressage and rising to third following a brilliant cross-country round, finished eleventh overall. This was a particularly emotion-fuelled result for the 28-year-old as his ride Voyou du Roc is to be retired now.

    It was an equally impressive day for the 17-year-old Over To You ridden by Jeanette Brakewell. This is his sixth visit to Badminton, the fourth time that has been placed in the top 10 and his fifth completion. With two Olympics under his belt, this horse goes into the history books as an all-time great.

  • Mixed emotions for Pippa Funnell, who retired Supreme Rock in the main arena at Badminton today. She was full of praise for the 17 year-old, two time winner here. “We’re retiring him sound and well and he owes me nothing. He has been the most fantastic partner, and he got me to the top.”

    Final results

    1. Primmore’s Pride (Pippa Funnell) 44.5
    2. Tamarillo (William Fox-Pitt) 46.1
    3. Master Monarch (Andrew Hoy AUS) 51.7
    4. Lord Killinghurst (Andrew Nicholson NZL) 52.0
    5. Over to You (Jeanette Brakewell) 53.2
    6. Mr Pracatan (Andrew Hoy AUS) 54.5
    7. Five Boys (Kitty Boggis) 58.4
    8. Spring Along (Daisy Dick) 59.6
    9. Tangle Man (Polly Stockton) 60.3
    10. Northern Spy (Heidi White USA) 60.5

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