Pippa Funnell takes third in Bicton dressage after delayed start: ‘I’m grateful they changed my time’

  • Pippa Funnell moved into third in the Chedington Bicton Horse Trials dressage just before the lunch break, scoring 27.4 on her own and Marek Sebestak’s Majas Hope.

    Pippa had been due to start as the fourth rider this morning, but the horse needed one shoe replaced, and with the farrier stuck in traffic, the event moved her time back so she rode as the final competitor before lunch.

    “I didn’t really want to have one foot without studs – it’d be like me dancing with one heel,” said Pippa. “They really kindly changed my time.”

    Majas Hope, who was a European team silver medallist in 2019, has struggled with the dressage, but has recently shown improvement in this phase.

    “He was bright,” said Pippa. “I fluffed one change. He struggles with that, but then I think I struggle even more with it – as Chris [Bartle] said, I went forward in my body.

    “Possibly it would have been good having it a bit quieter at 10am this morning but having said that, I’m really grateful that they changed the times and in some ways being bright gave him a bit more lift probably.

    “I’m still pretty chuffed for him to get that sort of mark because he’s never been that easy. That was definitely his best mark at this level to date.”

    Tim Price leads the Bicton Horse Trials dressage at the lunch break on Ringwood Sky Boy, who scored 26.7, with William Fox-Pitt and Oratorio II second on 27. Gemma Tattersall sits fourth after an emotional five-star debut for home-bred Chilli Knight.

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