Junior Whitakers seek the limelight

Louise Whitaker and her younger brother, Robert, will endeavour to keep the family name in the Horse of the Year Show limelight when they compete in the five-day meeting, which begins this morning at the Wembley Arena. Meanwhile their father, John, and uncle, Michael, will be seeking Olympic medals on the other side of the world.

Louise Whitaker and her younger brother, Robert, will endeavour to keep the family name in the Horse of the Year Show limelight when they compete in the five-day meeting, which begins this morning at the Wembley Arena. Meanwhile their father, John, and uncle, Michael, will be seeking Olympic medals on the other side of the world.

The 17-year-old Robert, who won four contests on the opening day of the Hickstead Derby meeting, had three further victories at this month's Festival of Show Jumping at Arena UK in Lincolnshire. In the process he came close to collecting a £20,000 bonus on offer from British Equestrian Insurance Brokers.

Whitaker was on line for this tempting reward after winning both the 1.40 metres jumping and the Gentlemen's Championship. He then needed to jump clear rounds on his own and his three opponents' horses en route to becoming the Champion Horseman. Though he won the title, a single dislodged pole on his last mount, Tim Stockdale's Traxdata Lift Off, robbed him of the bounty.

Whitaker, who rides two stallions, Randi and Steps Helsinki, and the mare Qualisca, is likely to give more mature riders further proof of his burgeoning talent this week. The Davenport brothers, Richard and James, will be among other young riders who will be looking to make their mark at Wembley.

Di Lampard will be hoping for a change of fortune at the end of a wretched year in which she sustained a groin injury and, after fighting her way back to full fitness, was surprisingly omitted from the Olympic team. As if that was not enough, she suffered yet another blow when her top horse, Abbervail Dream, twisted a fetlock at Rotterdam in late August, which meant missing the lucrative Calgary show in Canada.

Abbervail Dream, though back in work, is not yet ready to jump, so Lampard will be relying on Valentino and William's Spirit for Wembley. Valentino, owned jointly by Philip Rea and the British team manager Ronnie Massarella, won the Oxfordshire Area International Trial at the Thame Show last Thursday.

Other disappointed contenders for an Olympic place, notably Andrew Davies, Tim Stockdale and Robert Smith, will be looking for a substantial share of the £130,000 prize fund. They will also have an eye on the latest BEIB bonus offer, which has prizemoney starting at £20,000 for any rider who wins the Puisance on Saturday and the equestria.net Grand Prix on Sunday.

This may sound a tall order, but it is child's play compared with the conditions for claiming the £100,000 bonus, which require the rider to win the titles of Leading Show Jumper (Friday) and Speed Horse of the Year (Sunday) as well as the Puissance and Grand Prix.

Last year overseas riders had a profitable week, with Roelof Bril winning the Grand Prix. The Dutchman will be back to attempt a repeat performance, as will other 1999 winners, Billy Twomey (Ireland), Michel Hecart (France), Johann Philippaerts (Belgium) and HeinrichHermann Engemann (Germany).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own