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William Funnell and Billy McCain win the CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort at the Autumn MET 2019

Sunday, 10 November 2019
CSI2* Autumn MET 2019

Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com William Funnell and Billy McCain won the CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort. Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com.

 

Press release from the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour

 


 

In a hotly contested jump-off, it was Great Britain’s William Funnell and Billy McCain that went off with the win in Sunday’s CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort at the Autumn MET II 2019.

No less than 21 horse-and-rider combinations in the class made it to the jump-off after producing clears over Santiago Varela’s first round track that counted fourteen fences which included a double, a triple combination as well as an open water. “It was a nice course,” Funnell commented. “With nearly 90 in the class, it is only so much a course builder can do in a two-star Grand Prix,” Funnell said with reference to the many clear rounds. 

Coming in as no. six to go in the jump-off, Funnell put his 11-year-old grey gelding in top gear from the beginning. With a great turn to the penultimate upright and then a perfect run to the last vertical, Funnell crossed the finish line with the best time of the day – 41.47 seconds. 

“I was very pleased with Billy McCain, he jumped really well this weekend. He was 4th in the world ranking class on Friday and won today – both very fast classes,” Funnell said. “However, after being 4th on Friday I did not want to be too slow today – I’d rather knock one down,” the winner laughed when speaking about his strategy for the jump-off. 

Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com The winners: William Funnell and Billy McCain. Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com.

Billy McCain comes from Funnell’s own successful breeding program at the Billy Stud, which he runs together with Donal Barnwell. “Billy McCain is by Cevin Z, one of our top stallions and out of a Cruising-mare. He is owned by a really good supporter of mine, Denise Stamp, who bought him as a young horse – so she will have followed him on the live stream today and will be happy with the win,” Funnell smiled.

None of those to come in the jump-off were able to catch up with the British rider, who has countless of Grand Prix and Nations Cup wins on his record as well as a team gold medal from the European Championships. Closest came French rider Charles Henri Ferme on Bellini Dufaure de L (Mylord Carthago x Dollar de la Pierre), who finished in runner-up position with a time of 41.95 seconds. Third place went to Dutch rider Mathijs van Asten on Yagudin (Berlin x Irco Mena), with a time of 42.18 seconds. Marie Hecart, also representing France, finished fourth with Boheme de La Roque (Kannan x Quick Star) in 42.32 seconds and New Zealand’s Tom Tarver-Priebe with Popeye (Cardento x breeding unknown) fifth in 42.82 seconds.

“We came to the MET last year too, and we really enjoyed it – both Pippa and I,” Funnell said – referring to his famous eventing wife who has also been seen in action in Oliva Nova. “It’s almost a bit of a holiday for us here, being away from home. We have had a very nice time and even better now with this win!”

The Autumn MET II runs for one more week, concluding with a CSI3* from the 12th to the 17th of November.  

 

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