BREAKING NEWS *** Pippa Funnell announced as replacement to Izzy Taylor at Rio 2016
Pippa Funnell to take the reins at Rio
Allercombe Ellie, owned by Susan Holroyd and Frances Carter and ridden by Izzy Taylor, has unfortunately incurred a slight injury in training that will prevent the combination from competing as part of the eventing team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The combination will be replaced by the first reserve, Pippa Funnell MBE (47, from Surrey) with the late Carol Toliver’s Billy The Biz, who will represent Team GB alongside William Fox-Pitt (Chilli Morning), Kitty King (Ceylor L A N) and Gemma Tattersall (Quicklook V).
Kristina Cook (45, from West Sussex) with Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy The Red have been called up to the squad and will now head to Rio as the travelling reserves.
Izzy Taylor said: “I’m really gutted and sorry for the owners and my support team. I wish Pip and all the team the best of luck out in Rio.”
Equestrian Team Leader Dan Hughes said: “We are extremely disappointed for Izzy and her whole support team, including the horse’s owners Susan and Frances. Whilst Rio was going to be Izzy’s first Olympics, as one of the most talented British riders in the world, I am confident that it will not be her last opportunity to represent Great Britain on the world stage. In Pippa Funnell we have an extremely strong replacement, and we are confident this team has every chance of achieving medal success in Rio.
Pippa Funnell said: “Firstly I’m absolutely devastated for Izzy, I know how much work it takes for everyone involved to get the horse to this level. From a personal point of view, I just feel so very privileged and honoured to be part of the team and I’m just delighted for all my connections who have helped me to get to this stage. It’s our first home-bred horse to be going to a Games, and whilst that’s so special for us all, it’s so tragic that Carol isn’t with us to share this moment as I know she would have been so very proud. We’ll be going there to give it our absolute all.”
Mark England, Team GB Chef de Mission said: “We absolutely share the disappointment expressed by Dan and Pippa on the injury that has forced the withdrawal of Izzy Taylor from the eventing team. Our thoughts are with Izzy and all of her support team. We couldn’t think of a better replacement than Pippa, however, and we look forward to welcoming her to the Olympic team once more.”