Michael Whitaker takes up reins on two exciting new rides

  • Michael Whitaker has added more exciting horsepower to his stable with two new rides — HHS Flo and Millioninmind.

    Both horses will compete on the international circuit with the Nottinghamshire-based rider. They debuted their first shows with him during St Moritz CSI4* in Switzerland last week (27-30 August).

    The 10-year-old mare, HHS Flo, was previously ridden up to three-star by Yuri Mansur Guerios before the Brazilian picked up an injury. Michael took on the ride — one that he will now retain. The mare has also been competed by Marion Hughes, Emma O’Dwyer and Kim van Decraen in the past.

    “In St Moritz she got better and better every day, the courses were big but I was pleased with her,” said Michael of the Irish-bred chestnut by Heritage Fortunus. “She’s been competing at this level with Yuri and is pretty good. She’s a bit of a mare — sensitive but a very good jumper.”

    Although a new ride this year for Michael, Millioninmind has been stabled with Michael for two years since he was a six-year-old.

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    The Irish-bred gelding has been ridden by Joe Clayton, stable jockey for Michael, and the pair competed at the Hickstead Derby meeting this year (pictured).

    However, Michael now takes up the reins on the son of ARD VDL Douglas.

    “I now own him jointly with Steven Barnes — he’s only an eight-year-old so we are taking it slowly with him, but he’s very careful and has a lot of scope,” Michael told H&H.

    “Joe’s done well with him this year and we will continue to split the ride on him.”

    Michael has already enjoyed a successful year, helping the British team to fourth place and an all-important Rio Olympic qualification at the FEI European Showjumping Championships in Aachen (18-23 August) riding the grey stallion Cassionato.

    The British team stalwart also partnered the 10-year-old son of Cassini I to two Nations Cup team triumphs in Rome and Rotterdam this season.

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