British Eventing release
British-bred Whitson, owned by Roy Baker and Emma Baker-Jones and ridden by Louise Harwood, has topped the Top 20 Horses list for the first time. The 65 points he won at Pau just nudged the son of Cameo's Reflection above triple Land Rover Burghley winner, Avebury.
Whitson, who is a bay 16h3 gelding bred by Roy Baker is by Cameo’s Reflection out of Castle Weir Rebel (by Coosheen Liam). He finishes the year with 432 points, 56 ahead of Mark and Rosemary Barlow's Avebury who is also British-bred.
Paul Ridgeon's Armada and Catherine Witt's Bay My Hero share third place on 340 points.
“When I started the year I so didn't expect he'd be finishing ahead of all those great four star horses,” Louise admitted. “I had a leg operation in February so at the beginning of the season it was simply a case of seeing what I could do – I certainly didn't think it was going to be my best season ever.
“Whitson being named as a reserve for the WEG was very exciting, and having made nothing of the biggest fences at Pau I know he has plenty of scope. The real goal is to get the call up for next year's Europeans; all I have ever wanted is to represent my country and wear the Union flag. For Whitson to finish third in the Britannia League was great, but I am totally thrilled that he's topped the main points table.”
THE WIDE AWAKE TROPHY
This trophy, named after Lucinda Green's Badminton winner Wideawake, is presented to the breeder of the leading British bred horse. Roy Baker bred Whitson, his dam Castle Weir Rebel [by Coosheem Liam], and his Grand Dam, Spring Cruise [by Cruise Missile].
“I'm so proud of Whitson, and of Louise; long may it continue,” said Roy Baker. “I first set out to breed myself a hunter, and never expected the successes we have had over the years. Breeding event horses was almost an accident, although Whitson's full brother Sam I Am is making his way up the grades with Paul Sims.
“Castle Weir Rebel, Whitson's dam, was a successful show hunter, who competed at HOYS. Sadly we lost her last year, but she produced five lovely foals. Cameo's Reflection, his sire, was owned and bred by John Rawding, who had always admired our mare on the show circuit, so it was an obvious place to go when choosing a sire.
“Our breeding days are probably over now, but we have had a lot of fun, and this in particular has been a wonderful season. Winning the Wide Awake trophy is the icing on the cake.”