Rolex Grand Slam winner to miss Badminton

  • Leading British event rider Pippa Funnell has withdrawn her sole Badminton contender.

    The three-time Badminton winner was entered on Jonathan and Jane Clarke’s Billy Beware (pictured, top), with whom she finished sixth there in 2014.

    She withdrew on Wednesday (19 April), making room for Badminton first-timers Willa Newton and Chance Remark.

    Pippa told H&H the horse had had a “little bit of a re-niggle” and she was “not 100% happy” with how his preparations were going in the run-up to the event.

    She added she felt it “wasn’t fair” to keep hold of a place when there are riders on the waitlist who want to run.

    The multiple Olympic medallist is also recovering after a cross-country fall in the CCI3* at Ballindenisk in Ireland on Saturday (22 April).

    “I had had a super round on Chippieh and then fell at the last,” she said.

    “I have no idea what happened. It was an insignificant fence and I never go on a flyer.”

    Pippa spent the night in hospital and has been stood down for concussion, but is now recovering at home and the horse is fine, she said.

    “I’m a bit sore, but ok,” she added.

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    Chippieh, an experienced 15-year-old German-bred gelding, was most recently previously partnered by Sweden’s Hedvig Wig.

    Before this, he was competed up to four-star level by Japan’s Kenki Sato. Kenki rode Chippeih for his home nation at the London 2012 Olympics and the horse’s best CCI4* result was 16th at Pau in 2012.

    Ballindenisk was Pippa’s second international ride aboard the son of Carnaby, with whom she finished eighth in the CIC3* at Belton in March.

    Pippa also had two others entered at the Irish three-day, whom she was forced to withdraw before the jumping due to her fall.

    She had been in the lead after dressage in CIC3* aboard Sandman 7 and joint-third with MGH Grafton Street.

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