Competition success for Petworth rider

Ellie Barnwell, by Julian Portch
Ellie Barnwell, by Julian Portch

A Petworth rider is celebrating after taking the individual honours in the Pony Club competition at Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships.

On Thursday, August 4, Ellie Barnwell, 15, was crowned overall individual champion, representing the Lord Leconfield Branch of the Pony Club.

Ellie is the daughter of Donal Barnwell, co-founder of the Billy Stud with William and Pippa Funnell.

Ellie’s eight year old mare Billy Crisp is both homebred and home-produced, something the family is really proud of.

Ellie said: “She’s a chestnut mare and she’s quite small so she didn’t get sold!

“She’s coming into her own now as we move up the levels and she’s now competing in Foxhunters and we just did the Children on Horses Grand Prix here at the Longines Royal International Horse Show.

“It’s such an honour to compete here and follow in the footsteps of so many top riders.”

One such top rider is of course Hickstead Derby winner William Funnell, who was watching the action on the livestream on with Ellie’s father Donal.

Ellie won decisively jumping one of only two double clears, with a time some 6.51 seconds faster than her closest rival.

The Lord Leconfield Branch of the Pony Club was one of the earlier branches to be formed and covers the area between Petworth in the West and Billingshurst in the East.

Tim Leeper, deputy headmaster of Hurstpierpoint College, was on hand to present prizes to competitors.

He saidL “It’s been a wonderful day, with some excellent showjumping.”

The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead in West Sussex was founded in 1960 by Douglas Bunn.

In 2010, Hickstead celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in the five decades since it first opened it has become known as the home of British Showjumping.

The showground has been the venue for a number of World and European Showjumping Championships over the years.

It now hosts two major international shows each year – the Hickstead Derby Meeting in June and the Longines Royal International Horse Show in July; plus a national show known as the All England Jumping Championships.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at
2) Like our Facebook page at
3) Follow us on Twitter @mid_pet_obs
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Midhurst and Petworth Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.