Robert Whitaker, British showjumper

rwhitaker_lecroix.jpg

Robert Whitaker is a professional showjumper who was born on 26 January 1983 and now lives in West Yorkshire.

He is the son of John Whitaker and his wife Clare and nephew to Michael Whitaker, so has grown up in oneof the most successful showjumping families in the world.

Robert was taught to ride by his mother Clare along with his sisters, Louise and Joanne, and began competing at the age of eight. By the time he was 12, Robert had teamed up with his uncle Michael to win the mini-major pairs relay at Olympia with his pony Half A Penny.

Robert’s competitive nature and talent were clear from the start, as he competed in his first international show at Towerlands in Essex in 1994, when he was just 11. He was also successful from a young age, winning two team gold medals in the Junior European Championships and two individual gold medals in the Young Rider European Championships between 1999 and 2002.

His rise to the top continued when he joined his first Nations Cup team at the age of 18 and won the British Open two years later, in 2003.

That year Robert was selected again as a member of a Nations Cup team, competing in Lisbon and jumping the round that secured a win for Britain. In 2005, he was chosen to join the World Class Start and Potential Programme, aimed to develop riders to an Olympic level in preparation for the Games in 2008 and 2012.

In 2008 Robert repeated his 2003 victory, by taking the British Open championship again.

He has enjoyed considerable success is puissance competitions, including clearing 2.12m bareback while riding Waterstone in Stockholm.

Robert became a father for the first time in April 2013 when his partner Kate Jackaman gave birth to their daughter Evie. Evie is John and Clare Whitaker‘s first grandchild.

Robert Whitaker videos

Major achievements:

2008:

  • Winner of the British Open championship
  • Member of the winning Nations Cup team at Lisbon

2007:

  • Winner of the HOYS Cup at the Horse of the Year Show
  • Leading rider at Olympia

2005:

  • Selected for World Class Start & Potential Programme
  • Member of the winning Nations Cup team at Lummen

2004:

  • Member of the Accenture Young Rider international squad
  • Member of the gold medal-winning Young Rider European Championship team
  • Member of the winning Nations Cup team at Hickstead
  • BSJA leading rider under 21

2003:

  • Winner of the British Open championship
  • Member of the Accenture Young Rider international squad
  • Member of the winning Nations Cup team at Lisbon
  • BSJA leading rider under 21

2002:

  • Member of the Accenture Young Rider international squad
  • Member of the gold medal-winning British Young Rider European Championship team
  • BSJA leading rider under 21

Robert Whitaker pictures

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk