John Whitaker closed the final show of the winter Premier series by jumping the sole double clear in the A and B grand prix at Arena UK on St Honores Liquido.

Only six of the 45 starters made the jump-off, with Paul Barker riding Blue Chip Quinton taking second ahead of Hannah Paul onSaffier Van De Brandkreek.

John also won the opening day’s 1.40m with Casino ahead of his son, Robert, on Lacroix.

John’s nephew, William, 17, who is based at his uncle Michael Whitaker’s yard, claimed a decisive win in the World Class Start and Potential Young Riders Grand Prix with Michael’s Insultech Leonardo. In a Whitaker one-two, William’s cousin Joe finished second on Valliant.

Joe Clayton headed the winter grades B and C line-up on Born To Boogie. Tim Gredley and Calando II produced the only other double clear to take the second Royal International ticket.

Michael Potter won the winter grade C with Vista Grande. Michael and Vista Grande finished third in the first day’s Blue Chip Dynamic, which was won by Billy Twomey on Allegro.

Biomedical scientist Heidi Luck took the Blue Chip Performance on April Love II, while Guy Williams claimed first and third in the 1.35m open with Onyx V and Quidam.

Read this report in full, including photos and further analysis, in this Thursday’s Horse & Hound (5 April, ’07)