Pippa Funnell’s treasured Team GBR hat silk handed in after heart-felt plea

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2019 winner Pippa Funnell will be reunited with her Team GBR hat silk, which flew off as she tackled the cross-country course with MGH Grafton Street on Saturday (7 September).

Pippa, who took her second Burghley title this weekend 16 years after her first, made a plea in both Saturday and Sunday’ s press conferences for the silk to be returned to her.

“I’ve had that silk for 30 years,” she said on Saturday, asking for the person who picked it up to hand it in.

Aside from the plea, Pippa saw the loss of her silk as a “good omen”.

“It is what happened with Primmore’s Pride when he won Badminton [in 2005] — I lost my silk and I was mortified. When I got back I said ‘oh my god, I’ve gone round the whole course with an egg-head!’” she laughed.

Her silk, which carries the number 168 and her British team flag, came off between the Pardubice hedge (fence 21) and Collyweston Slate Mine (fence 22).

It has now been handed in anonymously and is on its way back to its rightful owner.

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Pippa’s “egg-head” round wasn’t the only good omen for those who are superstitiously minded — she was given a draw number of 77, which is her lucky number.

“If you wonder why I’m still wearing my number [bib], it’s because this is my lucky number and I’m going to sleep in it tonight,” she joked on Saturday. “In my Tilly’s Pony Tails books, [the main character] is wearing it in all the illustrations.”

Don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound — on sale Thursday, 12 September — for the full report from Burghley, plus all the usual news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more