Burke's Boy gives Funnell a third triumph

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The Independent Online

Pippa Funnell rode a splendidly composed clear round on Burke's Boy yesterday when she achieved her third victory in the major Horse and Hound Section of the Windsor International Horse Trials, in which she had previously triumphed in 1995 and 1996. Having also been clear within the time over Saturday's cross-country, Funnell finished on her dressage score of 39.8 penalties to defeat William Fox-Pitt, on The Professor, by an 8.4-point margin. Australia's William Levett was best of the overseas riders in finishing third on Norwegian Connection.

Yesterday's final phase proved costly for Petra James, who had been lying second after the cross-country but dropped to 20th with four show jumping errors and four time faults. It was also a disappointing end for Zara Phillips, the 19-year-old daughter of the Princess Royal, who nose-dived from seventh to 33rd when Toytown lowered five fences.

Funnell will be riding the Olympic team silver medallist, Supreme Rock, when she defends her European title at Pau in France next month. This great horse is by Edmund Burke, who also sired her winning mount here.

Whereas Funnell is hoping for a bright future with Burke's Boy, Fox-Pitt is expecting to part company with The Professor, who is for sale. His fine all-round performance with the attractive grey will surely have helped to attract prospective buyers.

Earlier Nick Burton gained his first senior three-day event win when he rode Another Ben II to victory in the Mentor Corporation Castle Section, with the New Zealander Andrew Nicholson finishing runner-up for the third time in four weeks. Burton had been helped by the sisters Ros and Lynne Bevan before he jumped yesterday – with the result that Another Ben, whose show jumping had hitherto been his weakest phase, produced "his best ever round".

Burton did have one mistake, but so did Nicholson, on Joli Roger III. Sweden's Anna Hilton, who completed the only clear show jumping round within the time on Inside Information, moved up from eighth to third place.