Pippa Funnell was delighted with Maybach (pictured) in the Bicton Horse Trials dressage this morning as she moved into third place in the CCI4*-L at the event supported by Chedington.
Pippa and the SHE Eventing’s 11-year-old gelding scored 29.7 to slot into the Chedington CCI4*-L running order behind her ride from yesterday, Billy Walk On, who still leads, and Piggy March on Brookfield Quality.
“I’m delighted, really pleased,” said Pippa “He’s a really nice horse with three good basic paces. He might not be the flashiest in the world, but the main thing is I do my job to do the clear round in this phase.
“I just have to get the work right and the main thing is not to overdo the work but do enough that you get the brain. I haven’t had a dressage saddle on him all week – I do rising trot with jumping saddles. That’s my thing nowadays, I don’t do so much sitting trot beforehand – I do that at home and leave it for in the arena and keep try and keep them soft through the backs.”
Pippa paid tribute to the World Class support team who are in attendance at Bicton, particularly horse physio Vicky Spalding and human physio Ash Wallace.
“For someone like me with the old injuries, it is so beneficial,” she said. “I’ve been yesterday, I went in there this morning, stretching the old hips out. It never ceases to amaze me how much better the horses are when I get right. We can blame the horses, but I always feel they go better when I ride better and Ash certainly helped me.”
Shortly after Pippa’s test, Sarah Bullimore’s second ride in this class, her consistent five-star campaigner, Reve Du Rouet, went in to score 29.9, which puts her in sixth at the moment, one place in front of her other ride, Corouet.
“He was good — he’s been a little bit confused by not really going anywhere over the past couple of years,” explained Sarah of Brett Bullimore and Christopher and Susan Gillespie’s 17-year-old, who used to have a habit of blowing up in the first phase. “At the beginning of this week he sort of regressed back to his old tricky self, but actually he came out, did the arena familiarisation last night — I literally just walked around once, because I’d have felt an idiot if we went in this morning and he was a plonker and I hadn’t done any familiarisation. And, and then he was like, ‘oh’, and has been a different horse — he just sort of chilled out. It wasn’t his best best test but he was a good boy.”
Read the full report from Bicton in the 17 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine and keep checking back to horseandhound.co.uk for further updates and insight
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