Pippa Funnell was born in Crowborough, East Sussex in 1968 to Jenny and George Nolan. She grew up in Mark Cross and went to the Mark Cross CE primary school. She attended the independent boarding school Wadhurst College (became Micklefield Wadhurst in the 1990s then Bellerbys in 1997) on Mayfield Lane in Wadhurst. Aged 16, she persuaded her parents to allow her to leave school, after which she based herself with Ruth McMullin, establishing one of the sports most renowned training partnerships. In 2005, Pippa Funnell was made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her achievements in eventing.
She lives in Ockley, Surrey with showjumping husband William Funnell who she married him in October 1993 in Uckfield.
Pippa Funnell became European Young Rider Champion in 1987 after successfully competing on Sir Barnaby at Bialy Bor, Poland.Despite a successful career as a junior and young rider, Pippa at first struggled to establish herself as a senior international event rider. Too often she would put up a brilliant performance in the dressage phase and then throw it away with mistakes on the cross country course. By her own admission she suffered from nerves that were threatening to ruin her career.
Help from sports psychologist Nicky Heath has produced a dramatic change and meant she has become the backbone of the British team. In 1999 she became European Champion at Luhmühlen riding Supreme Rock and again on the same horse in 2001 at Pau ("Les Etoiles de Pau" - France). She was a member of the British silver medal team at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Athens Olympics of 2004. In addition, Pippa Funnell won the individual bronze medal at Athens and team bronze at the World Equestrian Games in 2002.
In 2003 she became the first rider ever to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing by adding the Burghley title to her victories earlier in the year at Lexington and Badminton, to earn a $250,000 bonus from Rolex and a place in the history books. As a result of her phenomenal achievements she was voted Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year 2003 and was in the top five of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. She then went to Punchestown in Ireland to defend the individual European title that she had won in 1999 and 2001. Without the great Supreme Rock, on whom she had won her two previous titles, she narrowly failed to make it three in a row, clinching a bronze medal with the inexperienced Walk On Star and helping the British team to win their fifth successive team title. Pippa Funnel also finished the year as the number one ranked rider in the world.
In total Funnell has won the Badminton Horse Trials three times: 2002, 2003 and 2005. She has won both the Blenheim venue and Windsor Horse Trials four times as well, the only rider yet to do so.
Many of Pippa Funnel's top horses, such as Supreme Rock, Primmores Pride, Viceroy, Walk on Star, Cornerman and Jurassic Rising have reached the end of their careers and are now retired. Pippa Funnell nevertheless remains in the spotlight with a new string of new horses Ensign, who narrowly lost an individual medal at the 2005 Europeans and ensured the combination were placed on the shortlist for the 2008 Olympics following a 2nd place at Pau CCI**** in late 2007. Pippa Funnell has also kept herself preoccupied with talented youngsters. Already a renowned producer of young horses, having won a record number of Burghley Young Event Horses classes, she now has an enviable string of young horses poised to place her back in the spotlight, such as the Redesigned, who she has been touchingly expansive over.
Pippa Funnel has spent a lot of time promoting eventing to the wider audience she has appeared on DVDs produced by Equestrian Vision, including "Pippa Funnell, Road to the Top" and "The Funnell Factor" and in 2005 she released her autobiography.
There have also been a number of horse videogames released starring Pippa Funnell. These include Pippa Funnell for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance, Pippa Funnell: Stable Adventure for the Game Boy Advance, and the PC games Pippa Funnell: The Stud Farm Inheritance, Pippa Funnell Takes the Reins (also for Playstation 2) Pippa Funnell 3: The Golden Stirrups Challenge (more commonly known as Horsez)and Pippa Funnell 4: Secrets of the Ranch. Pippa Funnell:Ranch Rescue was released in 2007 on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii.
Equestrian News - Pippa Funnell
Britain`s eventers ride to silver
Britain's three-day event team produced a tenacious display at Horsley Park to claim an excellent silver, behind winners Australia. The host country made it three Olympic golds in a row, but for Britain second place represented their first medal in the event since Seoul 12 years ago. It was a major triumph for the GB team, after Ian Stark was forced to withdraw from Tuesday's show jumping after his mount Jaybee was declared unfit.
Burke`s Boy gives Pippa Funnell a third triumph
Pippa Funnell rode a splendidly composed clear round on Burke's Boy when she achieved her third victory at the Windsor International Horse Trials, in which she had previously triumphed in 1995 and 1996. Pippa Funnell rode a splendidly composed clear round on Burke's Boy yesterday when she achieved her third victory in the major Horse and Hound Section of the Windsor International Horse Trials, in which she had previously triumphed in 1995 and 199
Pippa Funnel Regains Her Hunger.
Great eventers, unlike great generals, do not fade away. They look for new horses to bring back the glory, and Pippa Funnell is convinced she has found the horse that can lead her to Olympic gold. It is eight years since Funnell achieved what no one else in eventing has and claimed the Rolex Grand Slam, winning at Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley in the same year.
But, in the last five years, she appeared to have lost the appetite for
Pippa Funnell all set to defend title as Bramham attracts record entries
THE final countdown has begun for Bramham International Horse Trials, which begin on June 2. The organisers report that there have been more entries than ever before and they are busy finalising the arrangements and preparing to accomodate as many extra riders as possible. The full details of riders definitely taking part will be known following Chatsworth International Horse Trials, which are being held this weekend.
It is hoped that
Pippa Funnell flies the flag for Britain on Ensign
Germany's Bettina Hoy on Ringwood Cockatoo and Britain's Pippa Funnell on Ensign retained the top two places that they occupied on Thursday evening, with Zara Phillips, the 24-year-old daughter of the Princess Royal, moving into joint third on Toytown here yesterday. Phillips admitted to being "quite surprised" when she was chosen to be one of Britain's four team members after Funnell's Olympic mount, Primmore's Pride, was injured. Funnell, a reg
Pippa Funnell has flying start as Rock rises to the big occasion
The conditions may have been different, but Pippa Funnell still achieved the same satisfactory start to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials yesterday when she and last year's winner, Supreme Rock, held the lead at the conclusion of the dressage phase.
The conditions may have been different, but Pippa Funnell still achieved the same satisfactory start to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials yesterday when she and last year'
Pippa Funnell hat-trick hopes ended
Pippa Funnell`s bid for a hat-trick of titles at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials ended after two falls on the second day. Lying fourth with Viceroy II after the dressage, Funnell fell towards the end of the cross-country course.She rushed back from hospital to ride Cornerman, who was lying second but he made the same mistake and she retired after jumping three more fences.
Pippa Funnell heads British squad for World Games
As expected the top three partnerships at Badminton earlier this month – Pippa Funnell on Supreme Rock, William Fox-Pitt on Tamarillo and Leslie Law on Shear H20 – have been named for the Great Britain three-day event squad for the World Equestrian Games in Spain in September.
As expected the top three partnerships at Badminton earlier this month – Pippa Funnell on Supreme Rock, William Fox-Pitt on Tamarillo and Leslie Law on Shear H20
Pippa Funnell looking to make a late impact
WHEN PIPPA Funnell finished sixth at Badminton this year, few people doubted that the 30-year-old rider would be on the British squad for the European Three-Day Event Championships, which begin tomorrow at Luhmuhlen in Germany. One of the few doubters, however, was Funnell herself. "It's been a long-time ambition and it's taken me longer than most to make it," Funnell said with relief, once the die had been cast in her favour.
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