Faultless Funnell

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The Independent Online
William Funnell's consistent form at the Royal International Horse Show was finally rewarded when he rode Comex to victory in yesterday's West Sands Holidays International Classic, the closing contest of the meeting.

Funnell did not think that his time was quite fast enough (and indeed it was beaten by two other riders) but he jumped the one vital clear round. Malin Baryard, from Sweden, now based in Yorkshire as John Whitaker's working pupil, had the fastest time of all to finish second on Corrmint, a split second ahead of Ireland's Robert Splaine on his King's Cup winner, Heather Blaze.

Funnell, 29, had not been out of the first four in his six contests here. This win will have set him up for this week's French Nations Cup meeting in La Baule, where he competes as part of the British squad. He hopes to take part in Dublin next month and, if all goes well, in September's European Championships at St Gallen in Switzerland.

Ireland's momentous double on Saturday - when Splaine won the King George V Gold Cup for men and Marion Hughes took the Queen Elizabeth II Cup for women - was the first time since 1951 (when Kevin Barry and Iris Kellett triumphed) that Irish riders have won both these classics.

ROYAL INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW (Hickstead, Sussex): West Sands Holidays International Classic: 1 Comex (W Funnell, GB) clear, 50.99sec; 2 Corrmint (M Baryard, Swe) 4 faults, 49.50; 3 Heather Blaze (R Splaine, Irl) 4 faults, 50.24. West Sands Speed Grand Prix: 1 Hello Feliz (G Glazzard, GB) 78.15; 2 Everest Vantage (G Luckett, GB) 78.40; 3 Impressionist (W Funnell, GB) 78.60. King George V Gold Cup: 1 Heather Blaze (R Splaine, Irl) clear, 66.22; 2 Everest Midnight Madness (M Whitaker, GB) 4 faults, 49.52; 3 Comex (W Funnell, GB) 4 faults, 50.53. Queen Elizabeth II Cup: 1 Flo Jo (M Hughes, Irl) clear, 45.32; 2 Abbervail Dream (D Lampard, GB) clear, 45.01; 3 Corrmint (M Baryard, Swe) clear, 45.02. Dressage Grand Prix Special: 1 Cupido (J Bredin, GB) 1,498pts; 2 Chronos (A van Olst, Den) 1,355; 3 Askari (R Davison, GB) 1,344. LUXEMBOURG INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW: Grand Prix: 1 Bollvorm's Easy Jumper (J Lansink, Neth); 2 Loro Piana Tomboy (R Pessoa, Br); 3 Everest Twostep (M Whitaker, GB).