Equestrianism: Questionnaire: Pippa Funnell

British three-day event rider heading for the Athens Olympics

You are going to the Olympic Games with Primmore's Pride, who gave you two of your three wins in last year's Rolex Grand Slam. What is he like as a character?

He has a super nature and he's lovely in the stable, but he can forget his manners by pushing against you when you're leading him. I've had him since he was a two-year-old, so I know him very well. Does he know he's the king-pin? Probably; he's quite an arrogant horse.

You had two identical falls at Badminton earlier this month. What was going through your mind when you hit the ground for the second time?

Frustration, because I didn't feel I'd done anything wrong. The sport can throw odd things at you and that was probably one of them.

It's been suggested that your horses were distracted by people using flashlights on their cameras. Do you think that could be true?

A lot of people have mentioned that to me. It was certainly very dark in the wood, but I simply don't know whether the flashlights made any difference.

Was it a relief to win at Chatsworth the following week on Primmore's Pride?

It's always nice to have a win, especially when the horse has gone so well. His dressage test was probably the best he's ever done.

You're preparing for your second Olympic Games. Does it help to have one under your belt already?

Yes, even though Athens will be quite different to Sydney. It helps to know that you've dealt with that sort of pressure before. You want to enjoy the whole Olympic experience, but you are aware that you need to stay focused.

I gather accommodation in the Olympic Village is usually cramped. How did you find it in Sydney in 2000?

We were lucky because we had a house there, but we'll be staying in the Olympic Village in Athens. I'm used to cramped conditions through staying in the horsebox, but I do like to have my own duvet and other things. I like my home comforts.

Will your husband, William, be able to help you to warm up for the show jumping in Athens?

It all depends on whether we can get accreditation for him and we're working on it. I'd really like to have him there, he's the greatest help of anyone before the show jumping. Also, it's nice to have him around.

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