Pippa Funnell wins the Sport Action Woman of the Year on a public vote pipping last year's victor, Dina Asher-Smith to the title.

Pippa Funnell in action at the Burghley Horse Trials (PA Images)
8:22am, Tue 10 Dec 2019
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Pippa Funnell has been crowned the BT Sport Action Woman of the Year, beating an all-star line-up that included world champions, Olympic medallists and sporting royalty.

The British eventer returned to the top of the equestrian game this year claiming her first Burghley title since 2003 as well as team silver a week earlier at the European Eventing Championships in Germany, along with Kristina Cook, Piggy French and Oliver Townend.

Funnell, 51, pipped Dina Asher-Smith, Lucy Bronze, Jamie Chadwick, Bryony Frost, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Jade Jones and Dame Sarah Storey to claim the title.

After a public vote, she was given the award by Maro Itoje at the event hosted by Clare Balding.

Skateboarding sensation Sky Brown took home the Rising Star award after winning. bronze at the World Skating Championships in September. The 11-year-old is now bidding to become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian ever by making it to Tokyo next year.

Team Europe were awarded the team of the year award after their historic 14½-13½ Solheim Cup win over the USA in September. Captain Catriona Matthews was presented the award by Ama Agbeze, who was part of the England netball team that won it last year.

Former British swimmer Mel Marshall claimed the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her achievements and her commitment to coaching.

Marshall won numerous medals of her own including six at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and has since coached British swimming great Adam Peaty on his road to six European golds, eight World Championship golds, two world records and an Olympic title.

Balding said: “The BT Sport Action Woman Awards is one of the highlights of the year for celebrating the fantastic achievements of women in sport and what a year it’s been.

"There are so many women leading the way in sport and it is great to come together to highlight the countless stand-out team and individual performances.

"I’ve seen the interest in women’s sport increase rapidly which is testimony to those involved who continue to put women’s sport at the forefront of the agenda and it’s great to see that interest backed up by the number of people who have got involved and voted in this year’s awards."