A win for John Whitaker in the Horse & Country TV Challenge Cup

Sunday 08 October 2017

A win for John Whitaker in the Horse & Country TV Challenge Cup

John Whitaker completed an outstanding double at the 2017 Horse of the Year Show by thrilling a bumper Sunday afternoon crowd at Birmingham's Genting Arena. The 62-year-old Yorkshireman, who has won numerous medals for Great Britain in major showjumping championships, followed up his victory in Friday's NAEC Stoneleigh Stakes by landing The Horse & Country TV Challenge Cup.

The two-phase competition sees riders contest the second part of the course in jump-off mode, and it proved to be an exciting battle between John and his fellow in-form British rider Helen Tredwell.

Drawn second to go, Helen clocked 32.19 seconds with Larksong, and John admitted afterwards that he knew the Buckinghamshire rider had set a testing  time to beat.

But John showcased all of his experience with nine-year-old bay gelding Crumley and managed to clip two hundredths of a second off Helen's time, while third place went to Belgian challenger Jos Verlooy, riding Caddie R.

"It's great to win here," John said. "He jumped really well. I was fourth to go. Helen Tredwell was quick enough, and there was an option of an inside turn to the last gate, which was risky, but I realised I had to do if I wanted to beat Helen, and it came off.

"The horse is still improving. He is nine-years-old so he hasn't got much experience and is not quite used to this atmosphere with this fantastic crowd, but he is such a good horse. To win on Friday was exceptional, and to do it again is great, so I am really pleased."

LINK TO AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH JOHN WHITAKER:
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Hoys17_WhitakerJ_day5.mp3

Image Credit: 1st Class Images

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