Grand prix win for John Whitaker and Argento in Amsterdam

  • John Whitaker has had a big win in Amsterdam, taking the grand prix (26 January) on Argento II.

    It was the legendary Yorkshireman’s second notable success of the show — he won the 1.50m class on Friday (24 January), also on Argento.

    John and the 11-year-old Arko III stallion rode a double clear to clinch the grand prix, pipping Dutch rider Gert Jan Bruggink (Primeval Dejavu) by just 0.30 of a second.

    “Argento always tries his best,” said John.

    “He’s really competitive and I know if I get to the jump-off I have a good chance.”

    John also acknowledged that selection for this summer’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France, would be tough.

    He said: “Number one and two in the world are British riders [Scott Brash and Ben Maher] so it will be difficult to get in on the team — but I am happy if I can win a grand prix every now and again.”

    Runner-up Gert Jan Bruggink joked that he needed to “get some advice” from John, after being beaten by him twice in recent months.

    Ireland’s Alex Duffy, who is 24, jumped two impressive clear rounds to come third on the 9-year-old Toulon x Flamenco Desemilly gelding, Living the Dream.

    “This is one of my biggest results to date,” said Alex.

    “I’d like to thank the organisers for having me — I was absolutely living the dream today.”

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