Jack Whitaker jumped to victory in the penultimate Dodson & Horrell and World Class Programme Under 23 Championships Qualifier at the Addington Equestrian Centre after a tense five way jump-off.
With two rides in the jump-off it was with Street Hassel with whom the 15 year-old took the win after producing a superb clear round in 49.75 seconds – the final round of the day – to edge out Alfie Bradstock with Lady Pauline Kirkham’s Hello Disckoboy D.N. who jumped the only other double clear in a time of 52.41 seconds.
“It’s a great feeling,” Jack explained. “This is only my third attempt in the qualifiers so this is a great achievement and it was a big class so it’s a good feeling that I finished up there [in first place].”
“It was a very tricky course and it’s a good feeling knowing that he could jump it.”
There were 32 riders in total coming forward to contest the class and it was a very demanding course set by Bob Ellis which saw only three combinations go clear in the first round.
UK Sport National Lottery Funded World Class Podium Potential Member, Emily Ward, who went clear in the first round, picked up four faults in the jump-off with Michael Whitaker’s Doobally but clocked a quick time of 52.18 seconds which saw her into third place.
Charlene Bastone finished in fourth with Stacey Webb’s Newbridges Chablis SW with a total of 8 faults whilst Jack Whitaker also placed fifth on 12 faults with his second ride, Valentin R, owned by his father Michael Whitaker. Pippa Allen finished in sixth place with Hope Springs, owned by John McGeoch and Olivia Poole picked up seventh with her mount, Connery II.
The Championship is supported by Dodson & Horrell who is Europe's leading equine feed manufacturer and a highly respected worldwide authority on animal nutrition and feeding. Dodson & Horrell’s involvement of the Under 23 British Championship demonstrates its history of support in equestrian sports across all levels, from sponsorship of the British Dressage Novice Championships, the British Showjumping Amateur & Veteran Championships and The Festival of British Eventing Novice Championship to title sponsorship of the iconic Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials. In addition, as official supplier of nutrition to Equestrian Team GBR, Dodson & Horrell played a pivotal advisory role in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The World Class Programme aims to provide Britain’s elite riders with the best preparation to represent Equestrian Team GBR on the international stage and is funded by National Lottery and Exchequer funds via UK Sport.