On Sunday, Pippa Funnell riding MGH Grafton Street won the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2019. This was her second Burghley win, sixteen years after her first win.
Pippa was drawn competitor number 77 at the start of the compeititon, which she claims is her lucky number. She joked in a press conference after her cross-country round on Saturday “If you wonder why I’m still wearing my number, it’s because this is my lucky number and I’m going to sleep in it tonight. In my Tilly’s Pony Tails books, is wearing it in all the illustrations.”
Another lucky omen of Pippa’s is her cross-county hat silk which she has had for over 30 years. Her number 168 British Team flag hat silk came off between fences 21 and 22 on the Burghley cross country course. Luckily after a plea to the public the hat silk was found and is on its way back to Pippa! Pippa reminded us that the very same hat silk fell off cross country when she won Badminton in 2005.
Pippa from the dressage, throughout the competition beating Badminton 2019 winner Piggy French riding Vanir Kamira by only 0.1 of a penalty. Oliver Townend finished third in the competition, making it a British one, two, three!
The 2019 win at Burghley is off the back of Pippa Funnell helping Team GB win Silver medals at the FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmuhlen last week.
Pippa first won Burghley in 2003 riding Primmore’s Pride which ultimately led to her historically being the first person to win the Rolex Grand Slam.
In an interview after the competition Pippa said “The last two weeks have been a surreal experience and I just feel like I haven’t had a chance to touch the ground. I hope in many ways it does inspire a lot of other riders, as it took me a long time to win my first championship and it’s taken even longer to win a big major. It’s been 14 years since my last (Pippa won Badminton in 2005 with Primmore’s Pride) and there have been a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but there’s also been some very special moments.”
“It’s been such an amazing journey and hopefully it will continue, but it’s the horses that have kept me going. I would like to say the horses keep me young — it’s the belief in them and the belief in their talent. It’s the pure love of that day-to-day graft working with them”
Pippa Funnel is a true inspiration to both amateur and professional event riders proving that eventing is indeed a marathon and not a sprint.
The Horse Exchange Team are absolutely delighted for Pippa Funnel and MGH Grafton Street for winning The Burghley Horse Trials 2019.