Equestrianism: Robert Whitaker secures British Open in family affair

Robert Whitaker kept a wonderfully cool head to complete two lovely rounds in the final of the British Open Championship here, incurring only the four faults that he was able to afford and thus repeating his 2003 victory. On this occasion, members of his own family were ready to pounce if he should make a further error.

In a contest that had been effectively dominated by the Whitakers throughout the three legs and yesterday's final, Robert defeated his uncle Michael and his cousin William, with his father John one place below the Irishman Shane Breen in fifth place. Though much has already been written about this extensive Yorkshire family, this was the first time that they had secured a stranglehold on the top prizes in a major international competition.

Robert Whitaker, who won the first leg of the British Open on Thursday, relinquished the lead to his father on Friday but regained it when runner-up to Robert Smith on Saturday. This was to leave 25-year-old Robert with a dilemma. Should he ride his top horse, Lacroix, in the final or rest him for the start of the Global Champions Tour in Qatar, to where he flies today? With a first prize of £25,250 on offer yesterday, Lacroix was pressed into service here, and the 13-year-old gelding obliged.

As if anybody needed another reminder that the Whitakers were here in force, William, 18, the youngest member of the clan won Friday night's Puissance. As at Olympia, where the tall young man wowed television viewers as well as a capacity audience, he was riding Leonardo. This time the horse cleared the big red wall at 7ft 2in, half an inch higher than his winning leap at Olympia.

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral