British eventer Pippa Funnell has lost one of her top eventing mares, Billy Shannon, who was euthanised recently after she was found to be suffering from leukaemia.
The 10-year-old mare was owned by Belinda and Nicholas Walkinshaw, and bred by the Funnells at their Billy Stud. Shannon was by Kannan and out of Shannon Line.
She was in the running for selection to the 2012 Olympic games, but was ruled out because of injury. Shannon had the season off, and had a foal by Billy Congo, who is ridden by William Funnell.
Pippa Funnell told Horse & Hound magazine that Shannon had a couple of issues that did not respond to antibiotics, and blood tests revealed she had leukaemia.
“We’re all devastated,” Funnell said. “She completely transformed my whole view of competing mares. She showed so much affection and was so talented — I’m heartbroken.”
Billy Shannon had 271 British Eventing points and her last competition with Pippa Funnell was in March 2012, when they were fourth in an advanced class at Belton Park.