2019 Roundup

We can’t believe the 2019 season is almost over, but its true what they say – time flies when you’re having fun!!!


William & Hamad after a successful result in the Derby.


We got the year off to a fantastic start with successful tour of the Middle East, enjoying the fabulous facilities on offer in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Billy McCain (Cevin Z x Cruising) finishing 3rd in their inaugural running of the Derby which was won by our great friend Hamad Ali Al Kirbi. Billy Diamo (Cevin Z x Andiamo) also had a great start to the season including finishing 3rd in the 1.55m Golden Cup.



Billy Delight

February was spent preparing our young horses at home for the season ahead. It was great to have Pippa on hand, ahead of her eventing season staring, to help everyone with their flatwork. This combined with grid work and pole work and of course some lovely weather, saw great improvements in all of the horses!



Success in Spain!!!


In March the team headed to Spain for a 4 week tour taking them to Carmona and Pineda where all of the horses brought home the results week after week. Billy Mozette (Tangelo x Billy Congo) won a 7 year old Grand Prix with Lucy while one of her other rides Billy Kodak (Billy Mexico x Vechta) was victorious in a 1.40m Grand Prix. William’s horses were also i great form with Billy McCain winning a 1.45m World Ranking class and finishing runner up 2 weeks running the the Grand Prix’s. Every horse on the tour came home with wins or top placings which definitely made the drive home a lot easier!



Billy Cong

April saw the official retirement of our legendary Billy Congo from top level sport to focus on his breeding responsibilities. He has enjoyed the most fantastic career with William and in the latter stages also with Pippa and for all we will miss the excitement of watching him compete, we are looking forward all of his offspring continuing his legacy!


Billy Bakewel



April also saw the team attend the Welsh Masters where Billy Bakewell (Billy Um Bongo x Jazz) won the 5 Year Old Grand Prix. This lovely mare went on to enjoy a well deserved holiday and we look forward to her progress in 2020.




Billy Diamo


Billy Spiral

Royal Windsor is always one of the calendar highlights and this year was made extra special when Billy Diamo (Cevin Z x Andiamo) finished 3rd in the 5* Rolex Grand Prix. This performance saw him earn his Nations Cup debut for team GB in St Gallen. Billy Spiral (Tangelo x Billy Mexico) also had a great month of May beginning with a win in the 7 Year Old Grand Prix of Le Touquet  and following this up when booking her ticket for the prestigious Foxhunter final at Horse of the Year Show




Billy Angelette


June signals the first Hickstead of the season and of course this year saw a bigger build up than normal with William and Billy Buckingham (Billy Congo x Clover Hill) being defending champions and also going for the record 5th win! It wasn’t to be this time with a very unlucky 4 faults for the pair but Buckingham added a 4th place to his impressive derby record! We were also delighted with the 9 year old Billy Angelette (Tangelo x Billy Congo) who jumped round her first ever Derby and followed this at the Royal International meeting when jumping clear with 1 time fault round the Queens Cup.


Billy Take That



In July we booked a further 3 tickets for Horse of the Year show with Billy York (Cevin Z x Emilion) taking her place in the Newcomers final and Billy Take That (Billy Mexico x Wellington) and Billy Picador (Billy Mexico x Animo) both joining Billy Spiral in the Foxhunter final.



Billy Sarafina


The beautiful Bolesworth Castle held their first running of the young horse championships and it was certainly a successful one for the stud! Pippa had an unbelievable week qualifying 4 horses for the World Young Horse Championships – Billy Lambert (Cevin Z x Andiamo) for the 5 year olds, Billy Sarafina (Tangelo x Billy Congo) and Billy Marmite (Billy Mexico x Vechta) for the 6 year olds and finally Billy Picador (Billy Mexico x Animo) for the 7 yer olds!



Billy Kat


September saw preparations well underway for our online auction with all of the 3 and 4 year olds, as the weeks passed it was great to watch the progress of these young horses. Shane also paid a visit to the Arena UK festival where along with other great results, Billy Kat (Billy JJ x Iroko) impressed in the 6 Bar jumping 1.80m!



Billy Picador


October was a busy month with the build up to the auction – we had visitors from all over Europe as well as the USA and South America to view the auction horses! A quick trip to Horse of the Year show amongst auction preparations saw Pippa and Billy Picador finish runner up in the Foxhunter Final!!! The 2 viewing days for the auction saw a full house and we were very proud of how our young horses behaved in the atmosphere! The auction was a huge success and saw our top priced lot go to Olympic Champion and legend of the sport Nick Skelton!!! Our team worked endlessly during the run up the the auction and during the course of our viewing days and we have them to thank for the success!

The Team with Billy Bilboa

Following such positive feedback and many requests, the decision was made to hold another online auction in November for 5 and 6 year olds. The team set to work and once again the auction brought back fantastic results with yet another Olympic Gold medalist chosing to have a Billy in his stable – this time it was German rider Ludger Beerbaum who purchased Billy Iceburg!

Billy McCain



October also William and Pippa take a team of horses to Spain for the Autumn tour in Oliva Nova. The horses all had fantastic results during the 3 week tour but it was Billy McCain who once again stole the show wining the 2* Grand Prix in fine style!




With only 2 shows left in our 2019 calendar (Olympia 5* and Liverpool 4*) we take the time to reflect on what has been another great year for the stud! There are many people and organisations that make this success possible and we couldn’t do it without any of them.

To our staff – we appreciate the hours you spend making sure all of the horses are happy and healthy. We love that you love the horses and we love that as a team we can chive so much together! Every result and every victory begins and ends with you!

To our sponsors – thank you once again for another year of your support. We are proud to be ambassadors of your brands. To everyone at Horseware Ireland, Kentucky, Allen & Page, Devoucoux, Sergio Grasso, Charles Owen, Toggi, Champion, SSG Gloves, Likit, Virbac and Claydon Horse Exercisers – THANK YOU!

And finally, to all of wonderful supporters – we hope you have enjoyed 2019 as much as we have! We are grateful for all of the messages of support and congratulations that we receive and we hope you are looking forward to another exciting year in 2020!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

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Pippa Funnell

Twenty years after winning her first National Championship with Sir Barnaby, Pippa Funnell is firmly established as one of the world’s leading three day event riders.


Throughout a long career, Pippa has consistently been at the top of 3 Day Eventing having cemented her place back in 2003 when she achieved a landmark record by winning the Rolex Grand Slam (consecutive wins at Rolex Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley). As well as a healthy bonus from Rolex, Pippa earned herself a place in the history books as the first person to achieve this feat.


A year later she broke yet more records when she became the first person to win the Blenheim International Horse Trials for an incredible fourth time. This was followed by success at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where she helped the team to Silver before taking the individual Bronze medal. Her list of achievements has continued to expand, with Pippa repeatedly placing well at all the major events, and includes claiming both the Badminton and Windsor titles on more than one occasion.


With her best selling autobiography and her range of ‘Pippa Funnell’ computer games continuing to top the game sales charts it’s clear that Pippa’s determination, drive and devotion to her sport, is proving an inspiration to many. Pippa’s appeal continues to grow and with the launch of ‘Tilly’s Pony Tails’, her popularity is set to expand further still.


Away from eventing Pippa has also received many awards which include the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Award, the Sports Journalist Association Pat Besford Award for Outstanding Individual Sporting Achievement, as well as being named BBC South’s Sports Personality of the Year and reaching the last five of the overall BBC Sports Personality of the Year.


Pippa was awarded an MBE in 2005.


Pippa is married to international show jumper, William Funnell.

Donal Barnwell

Donal was brought up in a farming family in Co Wexford in the heart of Irelands horse industry and from an early age was involved with horses. He went to agricultural college, graduated and farmed pigs commercially for 3 years until he could resist a career with horses no longer.


His first job was with the late Pat Cash, where he spent 3 years learning the business and developing his own unique philosophy and outlook on selection, breeding and training. Being a farmers son and a stock man gives Donal a unique perspective on horses and accounts for ability to see potential in a horse which others may miss.


Donal is recognised as having one of the best eyes in the business. Overall athleticism and conformation is important but Donal also looks at the head and eye to get a real feel for a horse. Donal moved to England 25 years ago to work for one of Pat Cash’s clients near Maidenhead. Donal developed the business and extended his business contacts in England before setting out on his own.


18 years ago he set up on his own from rented dealing yards near Chichester and 10 years ago moved to his current yard in Kirdford, West Sussex. Historically Donal has specialised in eventers although with The Billy Stud he has broadened out into breeding competition horses for all disciplines.

William Funnell

William began riding ponies as a child on the family farm in Ashford, Kent. He was born into a farming and hunting family. When he was not doing farm duties he would ride the family ponies. At the age of 16 he has the choice of leaving school to start farming, or showjumping. When Cyril Light of the Brendon Stud in Sussex offered him a job as second stable jockey to show jumper Simon Trent, he chose the latter option.


He has had success at the highest level in international show jumping, 2013 has been a great year so far, especially with Billy Congo. After finishing 4th in the London leg of the global champions tour, William went on to jump triple clear in Cannes to finish second, and an unlucky pole in the final round in Monte Carlo prevented him winning the class, but another 2nd place finish meant that he moved up to fourth in the global champions tour ranking list, with over £150,000 worth of winnings from the 2013 global tour season alone. William and Billy Congo finished off the summer in style by being part of the Gold medal winning team at the European Championships.


William and Cortaflex Mondriaan joined the elite ranks of three time Hickstead Derby winner adding the 2009 championship to their wins in 2006 and 2008. Last to go in the international arena they achieved the only clear round of the day and the first clear in the Hickstead Derby for five years, a great achievement for William and his team and their sponsors.


William Funnel is a world-renowned show jumping rider with over 20 years experience at the top of his sport. He has won over 20 International titles and has represented his country all over the world at the highest levels.


He has represented Great Britain on 27 different occasions involving 2 European Champonships and has won over 50 International competitions.


William has been bringing on young horses for some 20 years and has his own philosophy on how this should be done.


Young horses need time to mature and should not be rushed. William tries to give them much more time out in the fields so there bones, ligaments and muscles develop as they would in the wild and at a “natural rate”. While this means that they may mature later than horses of similar age which have been brought on quicker Williams feels they have a more substantial foundation of bone and muscle on which to build.


Each horse is brought on slowly and carefully depending to its attitude and development. All the horses undergo similar work at a early age and are not streamed into eventers or show jumpers. This happens at a much later stage with William taking charge of those that may be destined for show jumping and Pippa Funnell managing the development of those that seem to have the latent skill as eventers. Even when streamed William feels that cross discipline work can still help bring a horse on.