5-8 September 2024

Burghley image

Pippa Walks On into the lead

Two times Defender Burghley winner Pippa Funnell (GBR) leads the way at the end of the first session of dressage at Defender Burghley Horse Trials on a score of 26.2.

Thursday, September 01, 2022 - 13:13
Pippa Funnell Billy Walk On LRBHT PN22 38546

“I’m really chuffed,” said Pippa after her test, “as I felt I got the balance right with him and that he put in a personal best. If I’m honest, I’m disappointed one of the judges marked him 5-6 points lower than the other two as I felt he had earned the higher marks.”

Billy Walk On is owned by Pippa’s long-time owners Barbara and Nick Walkinshaw and is running at 5* level for just the second time. Pippa rides her 2019 team European Championships partner Majas Hope tomorrow at 1513.

2018 winner and 2022 pathfinder Tim Price (NZL) is currently second with one of his three rides, Bango. The 16 year old was fifth here in 2019 and posted a score 29.8, just .2 of a difference to his 2019 mark:

“I’m happy to have gone first as it means I went straight into the lead,” laughed Tim. “I’m glad to have snuck into the 20s as we made a couple of mistakes but he’s an out and out 5* cross-country horse with endless power and scope which we can hopefully bring to the table on Saturday.” Tim is also tomorrow’s pathfinder riding Vitali at 10am followed later by 5* debutante Polystar I.

Burghley first-timers Woods Baughman (USA) and C’est La Vie occupy third place, also on 29.8. The pair won Tryon CCI4*L in 2021 and, as part of this, won a flight by sponsors International horse transport specialists Dutta Corp to anywhere in the world so Woods decided to bring the 14-year-old here:

“He’s not the easiest on the flat,” said Woods, “and he got very wound up in the dressage at Kentucky 5* in the Spring so I was happy to go early here. He was very good the whole way round other than nearly breaking into canter when I asked for too much in the extended trot. He runs like crazy across country so my challenge on Saturday is going to be getting him back for the turns.”

The afternoon session starts at 1330 with Piggy March and Vanir Kamira, runners-up here in 2017 and 2019 first into the arena.