Meet HOYS Foxhunter champion William Funnell

  • William Funnell made history on Thursday night at HOYS when he became the first rider to win three Horse & Hound Foxhunter finals. William was riding the home-bred Billy Balou, the gelding his wife Pippa rode to victory in last year’s HOYS newcomers championship.

    Name: William Funnell

    Age: 46

    Lives: Surrey

    Horsey relatives: my wife Pippa is an international event rider

    Job: showjumper

    Dream job: it would be farming. I love to be outdoors and there must be animals involved, so that would be the perfect job for me

    Do you have any hobbies? I like watching all sports, but I don’t really have the time to do anything but ride. I did take up golf, but that’s a frustrating game if you don’t play regularly

    What’s on your IPod? I love all types of music, so it’s everything from the latest pop to classical. One of my current favourites is Lana Del Rey

    Tell us about Billy Balou: I think he’ll be a very good horse indeed. He was born in a year when we bred five really promising ones and two of those are already going well in new homes abroad. They were all by Cevin Z, who jumped in the Foxhunter final himself and seems to be producing the goods. Hopefully, this will encourage people to send him some good mares next season. Cevin’s late owner, Heather McPherson, would have been been so proud on Thursday night

    Dream ride: it’s got to be Nick’s Big Star. He’s the best horse in the world and has everything: a careful, explosive jump and unlimited scope. He’s a stallion I could envisage using on my mares in the future

    Are you and Pippa a good team? I think the fact that we’ve shared the ride on Billy Balou shows just how much of a team we are. The people at lecture/demonstrations always love it when we have disagreements about how to do something, but it’s all just teasing really

    Don’t miss our full report on all the action from Horse of the Year Show in next Thursday’s magazine, on sale 11 October, 2012

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