Equestrianism: Funnell's fortunes reliant on feisty Lord

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MICHEL HECART, who won two classes when competing in his first Horse of the Year Show at Wembley just over a month ago, achieved another victory in the opening contest of the Millstreet World Cup meeting here yesterday. The 45-year-old Frenchman, also appearing for the first time at the Irish show, jumped his customary swift, clear round to win by a 2.62sec margin. William Funnell, the best of the British contingent, finished fifth on Lord Pachat.

Funnell, short-listed for the 1992 Olympics, has been struggling to find the right horsepower since Comex ran into "a series of niggling problems" - whereas his wife, Pippa, this year's European three-day event champion, has never had a better string. Lord Pachat, winner of the five-year-old section of the World Championship for Young Horses in 1995, has sufficient talent to take Funnell back to the top if his headstrong temperament can be contained. At present, the more equable eight-year-old stallion, Vechta, has the edge on his stable-companion.

Results, Digest, page 26