The Billy Stud Interview continued....

I did ask Donal what stallions he currently rated in the world of showjumping and his reply did make me smile:

“It is not my place to comment about other people’s stallions. Being in the business that I am in, it would not be politically correct.”

Following on, I asked Donal, if he was to pick one stallion doing well currently, which one would it be, and why:

“There are a number of good stallions jumping at the moment and I could not say which one is my favourite, as different stallions suit different mares so it is not just black and white!”

Billy Angelo Hickstead with Pippa Funnell

As we were nearing the end of my interview with Donal, I was curious to know what future goals the Billy Stud had on the horizon:

“To keep doing what we do best. Breeding the best in the world.”

As a stud standing several stallions, I asked Donal what breeding incentives they offered mare owners:

Billy Angelo Competing at Hickstead with Pippa Funnell

“We believe that if we are selling semen and some one is unfortunate enough to lose a pregnancy or a foal in the early stages (7 days), we will give them a free covering. The most important thing is that if we are confident enough to use only our stallions, this is an incentive to others to use them.”

Coming towards the end of my interview, I asked Donal what advice he could give to breeders:

“Breed from the very best mares, even if they are a bit more expensive and you will be well rewarded.”

I asked Donal how he would like to see British Breeding evolving in the future:

“I would like to see the breeding in Britain go forward at this opportunist time. It needs to go on the right track using the points I have already raised about mares etc. People should be prepared to take advice about their choices and not use the wrong mares just because they own them or for sentimental reasons.

The biggest problem in this country, and even from a horse dealer’s point of view, is that people think "the grass is greener on the other side" and people feel they have to travel to buy the best... when in fact it is quite often under their noses here in the UK. Also riders need to be educated to buy young horses and produce them themselves!”

Billy Be Cool Winner of Burghley Young Event Horse

Never has a truer word has been spoken when you hear of Donal’s enthusiasm for how he feels that British breeding should be evolving. We do hear all too often how people think that the best horses being bred have to be in Europe, when we know that Britain is producing just the same quality here. It is just a matter of finding those horses and for British buyers to believe in British breeding.

I asked Donal one further question - If someone was to think of The Billy Stud, what would you like that thought to represent?

Billy Be Cool, Winner of the
Burghley Young Event Horse

“I would like them to think of the success of the Billy Stud progeny and the genuine and personal touch from the people involved who are very passionate about their work. The time and effort put into them as foals through to when they are broken and brought on into competition is second to none, and they will have had the best education they could have.”

Billy Burr by Animo Grand prix winner

The passion and drive is abundant and clear for all to see. Donal is forthright with where the Billy Stud is, and its future. There is no doubt, with the drive and determination of not just Donal, but William and Pippa Funnell, that there is only one way that this stud will continue to go……..and that is up!

We would very much like to thank Donal for taking the time to speak to us and for allowing us to see behind the scenes of The Billy Stud, and we are sure that our readers will enjoy and take into consideration what he has spoken about in this article with us. If you wish to find out further information on the stud then you can go to their website –

Billy Burr (Animo) with William Funnell
Multiple Grand Prix Winner

Past Issues

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