Pippa Funnell - the autobiography
The equestrian sport of eventing has experienced a great deal of scrutiny, tragedy and change in the past decade. Though much discussion over the past three years has been of the new format changes, the most uncontested feel-good story in the community has been that of Pippa Funnell. Thankfully, Pippa found the time through a very busy 2004 to record some of the details of her journey.
Remarkably, she tells the story of her life to this moment in time (21 August 2004 -- such that the book could be launched at Burghley) in such a way that it is not just a summary of happenings. She draws you into to her horse crazed youth. She describes the pains of pursuing the life of an athlete - one where both parents are not always pleased with your decisions. She describes the sacrifices - particularly as they relate to family - that are implicit in the life of one seeking to be the best in the world. She details each event in the book with great success. Information is supplied for the reason of understanding - no more, no less, and we are then able to follow the story-line as it unfolds. She displays the uncanny ability to transmit the feeling of her `nerves' into her written text. Fortunately, there is no tidy epilogue - and this is most suitable as her story continues.
Her account of the equestrian details is most satisfying. She expounds on her development as a rider - both physically and mentally/emotionally. Her insight in to her cross country riding and balance should be duly noted by many. Through her account of her work with Nicky Heath, we all learn of the importance of the mental game. And of course, she tells her tale in a fashion that pays highest respect to the horses that have made her successes possible.
When we finish her story, we feel satisfied that she has really `left no stone unturned.' We get the sense that things will never truly go `belly up' for Pippa Funnell ever again. Go ahead, read this book, and then shower your horse with praise.