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?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
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: SEO Account Manager

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SEO Account Manager is requi...

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant - Global Leader - FTSE 250

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As an Associate Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Representative

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family run school photogra...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - OTE £42,000

£28000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be joining a leading s...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map