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William Funnell introduces The Billy Stud Elite Online Auction

The Billy Stud Elite Online Auction is a collection of exceptionally talented young horses to include the British National 6 Year Old Champion and Reserve Champion and multiple direct relations of 5* horses. 

The online auction will take place on Sunday 18th October with 12 top prospects aged 4-6 years old. Bidding opens on Friday 16th October 9am GMT

Here William tells us more –

Your stud has been known for the quality you offer in the online auctions, you must be pleased with this reputation?

Our system of breeding and producing quality has evolved over the last 26 years and together with my wife Pippa and partner Donal we have produced horses that have competed at Olympic, World and European Championships. Although it goes without saying that not all horses can reach the top level, we believe in the quality that we bring to the auctions and our auction references successes consolidate this.”

Is this your first elite auction?

“Yes! After the success of the last 5 years of auctions we feel that we have gained client confidence and now is the right time to introduce older proven horses at a higher value. This year already we have sold 30, 3 and 4 year olds, and this group has included the Hickstead 4 year old Champion (Billy Mufasa), Hickstead 5 year old Champion (Billy Bilboa) and the NEXGEN 4 year old Champion (Billy Be Boss). They are all still young horses but with Billy Masai and Billy Bakewell being British National 6 Year old Champion, and Reserve Champion, Billy Seymour having an impressive international record and Billy Vitani having a Hickstead Championship win under her belt, I feel that we are not offering potential prospects but proven talents all with a big future in the sport.”

Finally, how has 2020 affected you and your team at The Billy Stud?

“If I can take anything positive from this year, it is the fact that I have been able to spend more time at home concentrating on the production of our young horses when I would otherwise have been travelling to international shows. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly young talented horses learn and develop. It’s been a few years since I’ve ridden a 4 year old at a show, so that’s got to say something about Billy Tiberius who’s in this auction!”

Full details of all the auction horses can be found at www.thebillystudauction.co.uk where bidding will open on Friday 16th October 9am GMT.

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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.