Jack Whitaker carried his fine form from the 2016 final at the London International Horse Show, Olympia, into the new season by claiming victory at Bury Farm in the second qualifier of the 2017 World Class Programme Under 23 Championships.
The 2016 runner-up [World Class Programme U23 Championships] on board Valentin R, owned by his father Michael Whitaker and Peter Machon, jumped a fantastic double clear and stopped the clock on 42.25 seconds to finish four seconds clear of the rest of the field.
Jack, who is based in Nottinghamshire, commented: “I felt that it was a really good win to start the year. The horse was on top form last year and has been this year so far. The course was very technical but was also very wide and scopey. Thanks very much to my owner Peter Machon and to all my sponsors.”
Four riders went clear in the first round over the course built by David Cole as five combinations progressed into the jump off.
Jordan Gann was one of three riders to produce double clears from the class as she cleared the final fence in the jump-off in 46.51 seconds on board Julia Gann’s Lakeland Dancer to take second place. Yazmin Davis closely followed her up in third with Zilverster II, owned by Alison Davis, as they went clear in 47.68 seconds.
Fourth place went to Nicole Holeman who enjoyed success in last year’s qualifier at Bury Farm in October; this time finishing with four faults and a time of 48.07 seconds with Creme de la Creme 6, owned by Davenport Stables. Jodie Hall McAteer finished fifth in the jump-off with Coquine De Coquerie Z whilst Aimee Jones took sixth place overall with Never Last, owned by Susan Jones.
Read our last report from the first qualifier at Arena UK, Lincolnshire here.
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.