So many of the riders who have been part of the Billy Stud program have gone on to have some wonderful moments in the sport, we are always welcoming new riders to join our team and train with us.
Tom Jackson | Great Britain
Greatest achievement – 2nd Place Burghley Horse Trials 5* 2022, Nominated World Equestrian Games, Pratoni 2022
Tom has represented both Junior and Young Rider European teams, being a part of the Gold Medal winning Junior team in 2011, and Silver and Bronze medal winning teams in 2013 and 2014 at the Young Rider European Championships. He has been part of the World Class Development Programme since 2014 and continues to strive to produce horses for the top of the sport. Under the guidance of Pippa he has continued build his string of eventers, headed by Capels Hollow drift, with whom he finished a career best of 2nd in the 5* Burghley horse Trails
Caroline Martin | United States of America
Greatest result – 2nd 6yr old FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships 2022
Caroline has been based with Pippa for the 2022 season, working with both her up and coming string of event horses, whilst also producing her sales horses. Working with Pippa has not just been about the competition aspect of eventing for Caroline, but also building a sustainable business. Pippa’s mentorship and guidance has been invaluable to Caroline building her career. Whilst Caroline heads back across the pond for the winter we hope to see her return for the 2023 season.
Zhonghe Tim Zhoa | China
Greatest result – Jumping a 1.50 4* World Ranking Class
Tim came to base with us at the beginning of 2022 whilst finishing a Masters Degree in Business in London. Due to COVID ’19 Tim had not competed or ridden his horses in almost 2 years. Due to the location of Jordans Farm, Tim was able to combine his degree alongside riding his horses during the week and competing at the weekends. He has gone from strength to strength finishing the year with some super results at 3 & 4* level with his lovely team of horses. He also purchased a young horse whilst with us and has enjoyed learning about the training required to produce young horses.
Reiko Takeda | Japan
Greatest Achievement – Representing Japan at the 2016 Olympic Games Rio
Reiko Trained at The Billy Stud for two years building up to the Olympics where she finished as the highest placed Japanese rider, she had an incredible work ethic towards her training and it showed in the results she achieved. She now lives and competes in Germany with her husband and two children.
Hamad Al Kirbi | UAE
Greatest Achievement – Representing UAE at the Asian Games
Hamad first came to The Billy Stud through the team at Al Shira’aa, he was preparing to be the first UAE rider to compete in the Hickstead Derby. The following year he returned for the summer to train and compete at shows alongside William building up towards the Asian Games in the Autumn. He went on to finish 5th individually and the highest placed UAE rider. As well as competing he is now busy training the next generation of young riders from the UAE including his sons, one of which competed alongside Hamad in a 5* Nations Cup earlier this year.
Joseph Stockdale | Great Britain
Greatest Achievement – Team Bronze Medal World Equestrian Games, Herning 2022
Over the last 3 years Joe’s career has gone from strength to strength with his super team of horses, headed by the incredible mare Cacharel. Together they are becoming a consistent part of the British Nations Cup team. Since the sad passing of Joe’s father Tim, Joe has had the constant support of both William and Pippa to guide him on his journey to the top of the sport.
Jessica Burke | Ireland
Greatest Achievement – Winning Irish Nations Cup Team
Jessica had a super career as a young rider in Ireland combining competing with a full time position as a school teacher. Two years ago she moved to England to ride full time as the stable jockey for Arion Stud, under the guidance of Roger and William her riding has stepped up to a new level with consistent results on the international circuit. This has been rewarded with the opportunity to compete for Ireland in her first two Senior Nations Cups. Jessica was part of the Winning team in Lisbon and the following week went onto jump a double clear in Madrid 2022.
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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 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 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.