British riders have dominated the recent equestrian event, the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby. British showjumpers William Funnell and Holly Smith led the British equestrian team, claiming big wins for their home country. But the event’s biggest story went to William Funnell, who made another career-record with his charismatic horse.
The British showjumper has entered into history books when he claimed his fourth Hickstead Derby wins, this time with his second generation home-bred Billy Buckingham. The 10-year-old 18hh Billy Buckingham is a son of the legendary Billy Congo.
Riding Billy Buckingham, William Funnell has managed to claim the first place with a time of 89.62 seconds. Funnell was a three-time Derby winner with the great horse Mondriaan. Funnell is the fifth rider to achieve four wins in the Hickstead Derby. The victory allows the British to join the elite group of four-time Hickstead Derby winners, which include Harvey Smith, Eddie Macken, Michael and John Whitaker.
Other big derby winners include British rider Holly Smith and Quality Old Joker, who took the second place. Holly has the chance to become the first women to win the Hickstead Derby. Unfortunately, Smith’s horse Quality Old Joker had the black gate down, which place the lady showjumper into second place. Smith was followed by Ireland’s Shane Breen and Can Ya Makan (Canturo), who settled for third place.
The British riders also claimed the fourth and fifth places. Fourth place went to Harriet Nuttall and A Touch Imperious, while James Whitaker and Glenavadra Brilliant secured the fifth slot.
About William Funnell
Born in Ashford, England, William Ross Norman Funnell is a top-class British showjumper and equestrian. The 57-year-old British rider has already competed in several equestrian events, including the Nations Cup and Hickstead Derby. Funnel made his first big win in Hickstead Derby in 2006. In addition to Hickstead Derby, Funnell also competed and won the world-famous derby of La Baule in 2011.