Tag Archives: The Billy Stud

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Because it’s Great to be British!

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Celebrating a great equestrian summer with Horse Scout

Oliver Townend

We may have lost the football and are about to be politically screwed by the rest of Europe but the UK have plenty to celebrate in the Equestrian world.

 

For starters, British riders occupy the top three spots in world ranking for eventing. In showjumping and dressage, we still possess the individual Olympic gold medal. In horse racing British trainers, jockeys and breeders continue dominate the sport, as was evident at the Investec Derby, at Royal Ascot and in recent bloodstock auctions.

 

It has been a brilliant year for our Horse Scout advocates too and we are proud to put our brand behind all of them. William Funnell has just won the Al Shira’aa Derby at Hickstead on the exciting homebred Billy Buckingham. The pair have also been named as part of the British squad for the Nations Cup at Hickstead later this month. A good result here could see them heading out to Tryon for the FEI World Equestrian Games in September.

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Not only is Oliver Townend World Number One event rider, he has an unbelievable three horses listed for the British squad heading to the World Equestrian Games, whilst Emily King recently won the Under 25 National Championships at Bramham.

 

The busy season is in full flow and we have a long tradition of hosting some of the greatest events in the world. With a most memorable Badminton, Windsor, Bolesworth, The Hickstead Derby and Royal Ascot behind us, we look ahead to the Polo Gold Cup, The Royal International Horse Show, The Festival of Eventing, the London leg of the Global Champions Tour and Burghley. At Horse Scout we have our finger on the pulse and it’s important for us to be in the thick of this sporting action, so we have a presence at all of these events.

 

We also have some great ticket giveaways and offers coming up so you can celebrate the best of British sport ringside.

 

Horse Scout are in partnership with the team at The Longines Global Champions Tour for their forthcoming London leg, which takes place at Royal Hospital Chelsea from 3rd-5th August. This means we can offer an exclusive 20% discount on tickets over the weekend. Plus we still have limited tickets available to join us in the GC Champions Lounge. Starting from just £50, the premium package offers access to the Champions Lounge Bar, where you can mingle with the riders, chairs and high tables, panoramic views and a free welcome drink. https://www.horsescout.com/longines-gct-london

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

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Derby Victory for Funnell

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We are so excited that Horse Scout Advocate William Funnell, has just claimed his fourth victory in the Al Shira’aa Derby at Hickstead for so many reasons. Not just because he has been a supporter of Horse Scout from the beginning but also because he was riding a British homebred horse. This was the 57th Derby which began in 1961, now sponsored by Al Shira’aa. This year it attracted a strong and very international field of riders but the Brits dominated.

Once again flying the flag for the Billy Stud, William was riding the 10-year-old Billy Buckingham by Billy Congo out of a Clover Hill mare. The impressive 18.2hh gelding was one of two to go clear in the first round of the imposing track. This resulted in a jump-off- almost unheard of in this competition,  against Holly Smith and the equally massive Irish bred Quality Old Joker by OBOS Quality. Holly has produced the 11 year old since a youngster and perhaps surprisingly, the 18 hand chestnut is as good at speed classes as he is at Derby’s and Puissances.

The first to go in the jump-off, Billy Buckingham was clearing the fences with inches to spare. Until the pair fell foul of the water jump and a foot in the splash, meant they finished with four faults in a time of 89.62sec. This gave Holly a bit of breathing space, but she was caught out first by the black gate and then by the water as well, meaning she they had to settle for runner-up.

William is the fifth rider to have four wins in the Hickstead Derby, having previously clocked up a catalogue of victories in 2006, 2008 and 2009 with his legendary long-term partner, Cortaflex Mondriaan. He joins other greats like Harvey Smith, John and Michael Whitaker, and Ireland’s Eddie Macken, who have all had four wins, in what is still perceived as one of the hardest showjumping events to clock a clear round in, let alone win.

William rates Billy Buckingham as the perfect Derby campaigner and believes there will be more wins to come . “As long as I’m fit and the horse is fit you’d like to think you could go on and win it a fifth time. It’s nice to be in the record books with those guys, and to do it this year on a home-bred is special,” he said.

Billy Buckingham was previously ridden by Lucy Townley, the daughter of Hickstead Director Edward Bunn. William took over the ride in 2017 and was the star performer of the British team in the Nations Cup in Denmark last June. Just a few weeks later, the pair finished sixth on their Derby debut having hesitated at the top of the Bank and getting a time fault as well.

“We’ve done a bit of practice to make sure he’d come down the Bank. Last year I wondered if I’d wasted a clear round because they don’t come round here very often, so it’s nice to get another one and win it on a home-bred by Billy Congo.”

William was full of praise for the show at Hickstead, which has always been happy hunting ground for him. “I’d like to congratulate the Bunns on the work they’ve done in the arena, this is the best grass ring in the world with the best footing.”

It was a great event for both British riders but also the girls this year, with Holly in second and Harriet Nuttall in third on another great Irish bred horse,  A Touch Imperious by Touchdown, This super consistent pair who have been together since “Henry” was just five years old, left all the poles up. Alas they were another pair to be caught out by the 15ft Open Water. Harriet shared third place with Shane Breen on the Canturo sired stallion, Can Ya Makan, who had one rail.

James Whitaker ended up in fifth place with one fence down and a time fault on Glenavadra Brilliant, the horse James’ elder brother William Whitaker rode to victory in 2016.

 

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The Billy Way

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William Funnell in the hot seat: how to select a young show-jumper and the state of the British market

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The world renowned Billy Stud operation started 22 years ago. It has subsequently produced a great number of notable showjumpers and eventers with the Billy prefix. The Billy Stud was the brainchild of William and Pippa Funnell, together with renowned sport horse dealer Donal Barnwell, who relished an opportunity to use their combined experience from showjumping and eventing at the very highest level, to improve British sport horse breeding. They are now breeding around 80 foals a year. We caught up with William to discover more about the stud’s philosophy, what he looks for when evaluating young sport horses.

 

Conformation is key and can be evaluated at a young age according to William. “They must be straight limbed but not straight in the hock because they usually struggle to sit behind. The hind leg is important for power to push off the ground as is the back. Just as the front legs are important for landing so these need to be straight and strong. They are likely to stay sounder and we all know a lame horse is worth nothing.”

 

When assessing conformation, William always looks at the loading points of a horse – so the hocks, front limbs and feet. “If these are not correct in the young horse, they are going to wear out much quicker and the horse won’t last” he says.

 

“In terms of the paces, I’m not too worried about a flash trot for a showjumper but I do like to see a horse step up underneath himself with the hind leg. You can tell a lot about a horse from his canter, even at a young age. The hind leg should be active and naturally move underneath the horse, not out behind.”

 

Whilst William believes you can tell a lot about the quality of a horse as a youngster in terms of its physical attributes, he say it is harder to judge temperament and trainability in the young horse. “In my experience, the sensitive ones can often be the horses who learn the quickest, once they understand what you want them to do. Sometimes the young horses who at first seem a bit aggressive, if you are quiet and build their trust once they realise you are a friend, they can become the nicest ones and often the horses you can build the best relationship with. They just need to let you in.”

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William would not consider buying a horse without X-rays, of any age but he is prepared to take a view on the findings. “X-rays are important for the long term especially in a young horse. I am less bothered about a chip of a bone spur and, if the horse is older with a good record, there is emphasis on completely clean X-rays, if the horse is sound whilst it has been worked and competed.”

 

The Billy Stud assess their youngsters regularly from the day they are born but they start being broken at three years old. “We start in March and send them to Will Plunkett who breaks five in a month. Before they go there, they will be handled well for a few weeks, loose jumped and X-rayed and we assess what we are going to put in the auction which happens in October.

 

The stud has held their own auction for the last two years now and are having great results. It is an online auction, whereby William, Pippa and Donal take a selection of the best three year olds and four to six years olds. Each one is fully assessed and X-rayed by an independent vet and potential buyers can come to see the horses in the flesh before choosing whether to put in a bid. The horses under saddle are also available to be tried. Videos and profiles of each horse is available online for those unable to view and brave enough to take a punt without seeing the horse. All X-rays and vettings can be released to prospective buyers for their own vet to evaluate.

 

William prefers to sell the Billy babies directly through their auction rather than sending them to others in the UK and abroad. “This way we are responsible solely for the quality of our own horses as it can be a real mixed bag at other sales. People trust us and know that we are not going to misrepresent what we are selling. It has proved a success so far  because people are seeing the Billy horses out performing now. They can come here and see 15 or more horses plus the vettings and X-rays and with an online auction, they under no pressure. It saves them time and money”.

 

Typically, they offer 15 three year olds and 15 four to six years olds in the auction. The majority are potential showjumpers but many would either showjump or event. The Billy Stud have always bred the modern sports horse with top level sport in mind, which means plenty of blood. William explains that they have bred this way owing to the way showjumping has evolved over the last twenty years. “Showjumping has changed, you have more technical courses where horses are required to shorten and lengthen. The format of Championships, the World Cup and Global Champions competitions mean that you need stamina as well as athleticism and plenty of blood. Nimble horses also tend to stay sounder as they are lighter on their feet. Gone are the days when an old fashioned heavier horse like Ryan’s Son could win a big class” he explains.

 

“At the same time, with enough blood in our stallions and mares, many of these horses are suitable for eventing which has also changed over the years. Eventers require more movement and scope to win a class now.”

 

The Billy Stud recently held their stallion viewing day as profiled on Horse Scout. Whilst there was a lot of positive feedback, William highlights that there were less commercial breeders than might be expected at the stallions days held on the Continent: “we sent Billy Congo to the VDL stallion viewing in Holland and there were 4000 people or more, whilst we had under 100”.

 

He believes this a reflection of British breeding generally. “We need to encourage more people to breed commercially. You see abroad, people enjoy breeding and are making money from it. With the UK farming industry struggling, perhaps more people should consider using this land for breeding quality horses.”

 

“The Billy Stud are big supporters of Horse Scout” says William. “We have always used them to advertise our stallions and our events. In fact they make up a large part of our stallion marketing campaign because we have had great results.”

 

To discover more about the Billy Stud visit their profile on Horse Scout:

https://www.horsescout.com/yards/the-billy-stud/profile/37

Top quality Showjumpers for sale on Horse Scout

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Horse Scout  horses for sale classifieds are selling the best horses on the market.

£100,000
Jaffar is an extremely competitive winner at 1.40m and 1.45m level with an incredible list of results including winning every 7yo GP in MET 2 2016. if you like to win then this is the horse for you.
STATS – 16.2hh 8yo gelding, sire Lord Z and damsire Darco.

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POA

Very powerful and careful gelding with a great technique over the jump, competitive in 1.30m classes and placing in 1.40m. Never stops, no vices, with a proper training will progress to Grand Prix. Ranked 18th in the Gold League.

STATS – 17hh 8yo Westphalian gelding, Sire Stedinger, grandsire Sandro Hit

anfisa

 

£35,000
This quality homebred is a fantastic model of a horse with a fabulous technique over his fences. He has a great amount of scope and is a prolific winner in his class. He has won a 6 bar contest, won 1.30m and qualified Blue chip B&C final. Grade A with wins too numerous to mention. A horse for the future with a great amount of talent.
STATS – 16.3hh 8yo Warmblood gelding by Darius

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£16,000
Fabulous opportunity for ambitious rider looking to gain more experience at the higher levels. Scooby has jumped up to 1.40m level – jumping at the big UK arenas including Hickstead (Derby Stakes) and Royal Windsor and out in Vilamoura Portugal in 2016. Good on the flat with 3 good paces, good flying changes and a great working attitude. Ridden and jumped in a snaffle mouth, This experienced horse really knows his job.
STATS – 16.3hh 11yo bay Selle Francais gelding, sire Iolisco De Quinhon

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 Are you looking to sell you horse, or have a horse for sale? Sign up to Horse Scout today or call the team freephone on 03339 398353 for assistance.

William Funnell, The Billy Stud and Horse Scout

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Horse Scout are thrilled to announce ‘Billy Congo’ as the most connected Stallion of 2016!

 

v7a4173aHorse Scout do a good job of promoting The Billy Stud, and allow people all over the world to know about us”. – William Funnell 

 

Billy Congo is by the AES & Irish Horse Board Approved stallion Vechta, who is by the famous world class sire Voltaire. Vechta’s extended pedigree carries 3 crosses to influential TB stallions Lucky Boy, Cottage Son and Furioso and top level performance sports horses. These performers and progeny include the great For Pleasure, Heisman, Faust Z and Maximillian Voltucky, Champion young stallion at the SHB (GB) stallion grading.

 

Horse Scout Team are thrilled to see organic connections building on his profile, showing how well he stamps his stock as a fabulous jumping sire. Fellow jump riders endorse Billy Congo, including Steven Franks, with multiple successes with Billy Ginger, one of many Billy Congo offspring !

 

Horse Scout are currently advertising three horses for sale by the illustrious Billy Congo- a BE 100 eventer (Billy Opaque) and a BE Novice eventer (Billy Chicago),  both ready to progress to the next level, and a 6 year old showjumper in Ireland.

 

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Billy The BIz

Cevin Z Progeny Review on Horse Scout: Billy The Biz

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Billy The Biz is truly his fathers son!  Cevin Z, The Billy Stud.

Congratulations to Pippa Funnel who is having a fantastic season with Billy the Biz (AES) by William Funnels’ AES jumping stallion Cervin Z, whose progeny are proof of great performance genes.

Billy Biz has amassed 145 British Eventing points  (69 of them this season). He has followed her great ride at Houghton International on Billy the Biz taking 3rd individually in the CICO3* and 2nd as part of the nations cup team, with a great result at Bramham International where he went one better to finish in 2nd place. He was leading after the dressage, with a score of 34.7 and picked up just 4 time penalties cross country to drop just below Nicola Wilson and Annie Clover.


Click here to view the fantastic Cevin Z on Horse Scout

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Elite Showjumping Stallion: Billy Congo

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Billy Congo:  “I’m just in love with some of the young horses by Billy Congo” says William Funnel to the AES in January this year.

Billy Congo achieved Gold British Show Jumping Elite Stallion status in 2010 ridden by William Funnell. He was part of the Nations Cup winning team at Hickstead jumping a double clear round and was also selected for the British Team squad for Dublin. He was placed sixth in The Super League Grand Prix in Falsterbo Sweden again jumping a double clear round and was 2nd in the Derby Trial at Hickstead and won the International Bunn Leisure Tankard class.

His successes continued at Grand Prix through 2011 to last year and 2015 looks set to be a star year with Billy Congo already taking good placing’s in his 3* competitions this year.

By AES & Irish Horse Board Approved stallion Vechta, who is by the famous world class sire Voltaire. Vechta’s extended pedigree carries 3 crosses to influential TB stallions Lucky Boy, Cottage Son and Furioso and top level performance sports horses, these performers and progeny include the great For Pleasure, Heisman, Faust Z and Maximillian Voltucky, champion young stallion at the SHB (GB) stallion grading.

Billy Congo’s Dam Billy Autumn was herself and successful Grand Prix Showjumper and her sire, Animo, is among the elite jumping stallions in the world today.

Billy Congo’s young stock are now showing their potential.

In 2011, Billy Umbongo was joint winner of the Four Year Old Championships at the Addington, the following year he jumped clear everyday to pick up the bonus for the British bred 5yr olds. 2014 has seen Billy Umbongo go on his first sunshine tour to Spain and jumped numerous clear rounds in the 7yr old classes.

With his deep understanding of the breeding process, breeders should be assured by William Funnels responses to the Anglo European Stud Book when asked “Is Billy Congo the best?” and “Which stallion brought you the best horses?” his response was:

“Billy Congo is the best! No, I’m a modest man, but I’m just so in love with some of the young horses by Billy Congo. Some six and seven-year-olds in my stables. What I experience with Billy Congo is that he gives blood and produces careful sport types. There aren’t many stallions like that. For most stallions you need a blood mare. He doesn’t need that. I think most people don’t even realise how good he is because I think he is suited more to the European mares than the English blood types. He’s good on the typical continental mares, because he’s a strong horse with a good back and good hind end. That’s why I think we should sell more semen to Europe. There are not enough stallions with this type in Europe. Together with Kees Van Den Oetelaar I’m dividing the semen in Europe now. We have just finished another period of freezing his semen. His semen is better than any other, and his frozen is as good as the fresh.”


Click here to view this showjumping stallion on Horse Scout

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The Billy Studs’ AES Stallion Billy Mexico is proving himself through his successful progeny

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Congratulations to Pippa Funnel and Billy Walk On at Chatsworth International earlier this month.

Billy Mexico, a striking AES/AWR approved stallion, is a successful international showjumper with William Funnel has competed along side his stud duties.

Besides his own skills in the competitive arena at CSI3* CSIO5*, his progeny are also making their own mark in the performance horse world. In January, Horse Scout blogged about the successful line up for the Billy Stud at the Futurity awards where Billy Walk On took just one of the first places awarded to Billy Stud that day.

Billy Walk On is showing just why he was feted at the Futurity Awards. He is performing so well out in the competitive arena with three wins from three starts already this season. Billy Studs’ busy news reel reported in March that Billy Walk On, the lovely 6yr old by Billy Mexico, led from the front in both his novice events, firstly at Tweseldown where the section had over 60 starters, then at Aldon, Pippa rode a 24.3 dressage which then gave her breathing space in cross country to pick up 8 time faults but still finish victorious”.

He followed this by another win at Somerly Park Horse Trials. Then yesterday, the Billy Stud reports that Pippa and the Walkinshaw’s amazing 6yr old Billy Walk On have once again brought home the top honors! He won the CIC* at Chatworth international, this was his first time competing at this level. This lovely son of Billy Mexico will now have a holiday in the field before returning to competition in the autumn…. Deservedly so!

Billy Mexico has the breeding to stand by his own successful progeny through both his sire Cevin Z his sire who was was bred by the prestigious Zangersheide Stud, and carries double crosses in his pedigree of both Cor de la Bryere and Capitol I. Cevin Zs’ youngstock are achieving top class results – in both show jumping and eventing at international level. Bidorette, the mother of Billy Mexico, is a proven broodmare having produced numerous good foals, in particular the approved stallion Fervent, a proven sire who achieved over $2000.00 in winnings and also Libro who jumped to Foxhunter level, with BSJA winnings of £974.00. Libro also excels as a dressage horse with 250 points and is working at advanced medium level.

Billy Mexico is by the Billy Stud AES / AWR approved stallion Cevin Z. He is an exceptional young stallion starting his competitive career with William Funnell. He is showing huge ability, combined with an excellent temperament. His pedigree sets him apart and combined with his talent and temperament ha has proven to be an ideal producer of high class sports horses, especially show jumpers and eventers.

His first crop of young stock were placed first and second at the Young Horse Championships in 2006. He has competed successfully with William Funnell at International level. His youngstock are achieving top class results – in both show jumping and eventing at international level.

2008 was Billy Mexico’s first season at stud and as a 3yr old only covered six mares, but the crop have been outstanding. As this crop reached maturity, William said “From what we have seen of Mexico’s progeny so far we are very excited about him as a breeding stallion. Considering we only covered the six mares the first year, all the offspring have shown his super technique and great brain”.


Click here to view this stallion on Horse Scout

Looking to buy or sell your own horse? HORSE SCOUT is the number one equestrian networking site that allows you to follow and connect with leading industry professionals as well as buy, sell and promote your horse or business – sign up free today!