I come from a big family of show jumpers. I started riding very very young. Show jumping and horses have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I did my first affiliated pony show aged 5 (it didn’t go very well!) but that’s when the big stuff began. I was and still am very inspired by my family, who have been very successful in the sport. It was a dream come true to eventually join them at the top of the sport competing alongside them in competitions as great as Championships, Nations Cups and Grand Prix’s. A very special moment for me was coming 2nd (obviously first would have been nicer) in the famous Hickstead Derby to my uncle John Whitaker when I was 18 with my hero of a horse Locarno 62. He was 8 at the time. I grew up watching my hero’s battle that class. It also meant a lot to my grandparents which made it very special.
I competed at the Pony European Championships in Vejer de la Frontera when I was 14, where I met my first owner (Mr Julian Donn) who went on to support me hugely, buying Locarno 62 at the Psi auction as a 5 year old when I was 15. I consider myself hugely lucky to have had this opportunity and it opened up so many doors for me at a very young age. One of them was being selected for the senior European championships in San Patrigano (Italy) when I was 19 and Locarno 62 was 9. Dawn and Amy Makin came on board when I was 20 and shortly after I was selected for the my 2nd senior European Championships in Mannheim (Germany) alongside my uncles John and Michael. And together with David McPhearson and a triple clear from Locarno 62 we managed to win the team Bronze medal and qualify for the Beijing Olympics. This was another one of my all time favourite moments in show jumping so far. And a feeling I will never forget!
I am a big tennis fan. I used to play a lot as a child and teenager. I am a big fan of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. All completely different players with inspiring stories behind their success. Roger Federer’s classic style and elegance as a player is beautiful to watch. I love sport - any sport - and have huge respect for sportspeople and the stories and hard work behind them.
I became celiac after I had my children. This is an auto immune condition which means I am extremely allergic to gluten. I am also lactose and dairy intolerant so I cook quite a lot and have developed an interest in food and nutrition.
I don’t have a favourite movie, I have favourite actors and actresses and I like watching most movies they are in. I love Sandra Bullock, Catherine Zeta Jones, Kevin Costner, Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy... and I am a big fan of Peaky Blinders!!
To relax I love nothing more than being with my children. It’s a busy life being a sportsperson and a mum. It can be very challenging and very rewarding. I enjoy every moment.
My most successful and influential horses in my life so far have been:
Locarno 62 - bay stallion - who took me to the very top of the sport. His record speaks for itself but the experience, the wins, the championships, world cups, nations cups, derbys were endless with this horse. He was retired aged 18 and still stands at stud now.
Kanselier- chestnut gelding- who was a prolific winner, he won the speed horse of the year at Horse of the year show 4 times and amongst many more Grand Prix wins and Championships he qualified me for Olympia when I was 16 for the international classes there. That was invaluable experience for me at that age. He was an extremely big part of my career. We retired him aged 17.
Ocolado- Chestnut Gelding- he won me my first ever 5 star Grand Prix in Linz (Austria) and my first car in Bremen (Germany). He also won Horse of the year show Grand Prix and the British open 4 star Grand Prix in the UK. He jumped on Global Tours and World Cups and Grand Prixs at the highest level all around the world. He was a huge part of my success so far. We also retired him aged 18.
Henri de here - bay gelding- Henri was my top speed master. He won the Hickstead speed derby twice. He also jumped clear in the 5 star Paris Grand Prix finishing 6th which was an amazing achievement for a horse that only usually jumped 1.45. He won endless speed classes and derbys.
Ladina B - This beautiful big White mare was quite famous for her Puissance skills. Ladina won every puissance we jumped except one. Horse of the year show, Olympia, Madrid... we’re amongst 3 of them. One puissance in particular stands out for me and that was the first time she won at Olympia as myself and Ladina and my cousin William Whitaker were joint winners after 5 rounds and clearing 2.25m. To win with William was the best way to win as there were only us 2 in the final round. And we both jumped it. We retired Ladina aged 15.
Cs online - Owned by Henry Harding. Was part of my A team. He didn’t win too many classes but he was consistently placed in major classes. He was a chestnut stallion. Retired to the working hunter field in USA where he became a champion in another equestrian discipline.