9 interesting facts you won’t know about William Whitaker (probably…)

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

2. The 25-year-old won his second World Cup qualifier at Stuttgart on Sunday, 23 November — his first victory in this five-star indoor series came in Mechelen seven years ago.

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

7. He comes from showjumping’s most famous family and his father Ian — brother of John, Michael and Steven — rode ponies, but gave up to become a farmer. William’s brothers George and James, and his cousins Louise, Robert, Joanne, Ellen, Joe, Tom and Donald all compete internationally.

8. 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.

9. William is the father of two children, a boy and a girl, with partner Elisabeth Fredlund.

Read more about William’s success