Did Pippa Funnell jump clear?

  • Pippa Funnell has called for a rule clarification after her controversial elimination in the CIC3* at Hartpury (8 August).

    Pippa appeared to jump clear on Or Noir De La Loge but she was eliminated after finishing the course.

    The ground jury decided that she had not jumped 17a, a skinny brush corner, properly and therefore had had a run-out and carried on.

    The fence was on the exit of the second water and the competitor before Pippa had knocked the flag off the brush corner and it hadn’t been replaced.

    “It’s a difficult one. I felt he did take off square [to the fence], but yes, he did drift right,” said Pippa.

    We were at a serious disadvantage, jumping a fence like that — which had to be ridden on an acute angle — without a flag.”

    “I was told I should have stopped because there wasn’t a flag on the fence. But I was in the lead — who there was going to take my time [the time she was stopped so that her time on course could be accurately calculated]?

    “And it’s a split-second decision — I was a few strides from a bloody great ditch and rail.

    “I’m happy to accept they had to make a decision, but there needs to be a ruling that will stop the same thing happening on another occasion.”

    Steven Burgess was the fence judge at fence 17ab. He told H&H it was not his decision to eliminate Pippa.

    “There had been a lot of stoppages throughout the day, and then a horse came up to the fence I was judging and took out the flag,” he said.

    “Pippa was only 18sec behind so there was no time to replace it — the fence repair team are on their way, as you can see in the footage. I basically had to run out of the way.

    “I didn’t mark it on the score card and spoke to the official. It was marked as clear, which I was happy about, but after seeing the video they [the ground jury] eliminated her. It wasn’t my choice.”

    For the full Hartpury report, don’t miss the new issue of H&H, out on Thursday (15 August).

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