Pippa Funnell to Replace Izzy Taylor on British Olympic Team

Pippa Funnell (GBR) and Billy The Biz. FEI photo Pippa Funnell (GBR) and Billy The Biz. FEI photo

It’s been a tough week of injuries for Rio-bound horses. Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair were replaced by Lynn Symansky and Donner as the traveling reserve for the U.S. Olympic team on Tuesday, and now British Eventing has announced that Pippa Funnell and the late Carol Toliver’s Billy the Biz will replace Izzy Taylor and Allercombe Ellie on the British team.

Allercombe Ellie, a 13-year-old British Sport Horse mare owned by Susan Holroyd and Frances Carter, unfortunately sustained “a slight injury in training,” according to Izzy. “I’m really gutted and sorry for the owners and my support team, she said. “I wish Pip and all the team the best of luck out in Rio.”

Pippa 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 homebred 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.”

British 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 to replace Izzy Taylor at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games]