Pippa Funnell to mentor young event riders in memory of top horse’s owner

  • Three up-and-coming event riders will be given the opportunity to be mentored by eventing legend Pippa Funnell under the new Young Eventers’ Programme, funded by the Windrush Equestrian Foundation.

    The foundation was formed in memory of Christina Knudsen, the stepdaughter of James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore. Christina had a passion for eventing and was the owner of British Eventing horse of the year 2015 Wesko, ridden by Tim Price, who is an ambassador of the foundation. Christina was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer in November 2015 and died in July 2016.

    The programme aims to support riders in their education and training by “offering them a pathway” to become a professional eventer and learn how to support themselves in business in the industry.

    Jane Chablani, chairman of the Windrush Equestrian Foundation board said: “The world of eventing is highly competitive, and cost can be a prohibitive factor. The Young Eventers’ Programme gives riders who are not already receiving funding, an exceptional opportunity to achieve their equestrian dreams as it offers bespoke training programmes and prepares them for life outside the eventing world. This is a legacy that Christina Knudsen would be proud of.”

    The programme is offering three riders aged 21 and over the opportunity to be mentored and trained by British Olympic eventer Pippa Funnell at no cost. The programme will also offer professional education in business and economics, communication, mental coaching and veterinary in collaboration with The Young Riders’ Academy in Switzerland.

    Pippa said: “I feel honoured to be involved in this exciting new project. Helping to educate young event riders in all-round horsemanship is something I feel passionate about. Sharing all the knowledge I have acquired over 35 years in the sport, the focus will be on all elements of equestrianism including training and management, the selection and production of young horses and the development of individual programmes.

    “My main priority throughout will be making riders understand the individuality of each horse and that the horse’s welfare is absolutely paramount.”

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    The selection panel will be formed of Pippa Funnell, Sven Holmberg, sport manager of the Young Riders Academy and Eleonora Ottaviani, president of the Riders Academy and director of the International Jumping Riders Club, with the final selection day being on 23 October.

    A shortlist of up to six riders will be drawn up based on riding skills and will include an interview regarding the rider’s background, education, ambitions, and ability to communicate.

     Applications for the programme are now open and can be found at www.windrushfoundation.org.uk. Applications close on 19 October.

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