11 fun facts you might not know about William Whitaker

William Whitaker has enjoyed a very successful career in showjumping so far, and here we give you some key facts to help you get to know him a little better…

1. At 6ft 1in, William Whitaker is the tallest member of the Whitaker showjumping dynasty.

2. One of the 30-year-old’s greatest victories came at the Olympia Horse Show in 2018 when he won the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier riding Utamaro D’Ecaussines.

3. William started competing at the age of eight and won three Horse of the Year Show titles during his pony career — the 138cm championship (2001) on Mystic Starlight Express, the pony Foxhunter (2003) on Devlin and the leading junior show jumper of the year (2005) riding Indien De Here, also finishing second with Colton Maelstrom.

4. He trained in Florida with American showjumper Aaron Vale after leaving school and was based with his uncle Michael Whitaker before setting up his own yard.

5. He has won championship medals at the pony Europeans in 2005, the junior Europeans in 2006, in young riders in 2007 and 2008, and in 2009 he competed on a borrowed horse in the youth Olympics in Australia to win a bronze medal.

6. Statistically, 2019 was William’s most successful year to date in which he won 14 international showjumping classes.

7. When he’s not competing around the world, his hobby is football and he supports Huddersfield Town and Manchester United.

8. He comes from showjumping’s most famous family and his father Ian — brother of John, Michael and Steven — rode ponies, but instead went on to become a farmer. William’s brothers James and George are also both showjumpers.

9. Since William parted company with owners Rushy Marsh Farm in January 2020, he and James are now running their stables together at the family farm near Huddersfield in Yorkshire.

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10. In the 2008 British Open, Robert, Michael and William finished first, second and third. This was the first time in the history of the sport that members of the same family have finished in the top three placings at a top international show.

11. William is the father of three children, a boy and two girl, with his wife Elisabeth.

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