‘He’s taught me a lot’: Robert Whitaker retires top horse age 18

  • Catwalk IV, the top grand prix horse and long-term partner of Robert Whitaker, has retired aged 18.

    Robert bought the son of Colman as a stallion from Swiss showjumper Steve Guerdat in 2011. Catwalk was later gelded, and although he was known for being quite tricky as a young horse, he went on to enjoy a successful 10-year career with Robert. The pair recorded 23 wins and countless top-10 finishes, including puissances, six-bars, five-star grands prix, and World Cup qualifiers.

    Robert told H&H when he bought Catwalk he “probably didn’t realise” how good he would be.

    “He’s got a lot of character, he was quite strong-minded when he was young but I think that’s what made him so good. He’s taught me a lot,” he said.

    “I was on winning Nation Cup teams with him in Rome and St Gallen, and he won five-star grands prix, not many people get the pleasure of having a horse that does that. The highlight was my first World Cup win in Helsinki in 2019, the day after we won the grand prix.”

    Robert made the decision to retire Catwalk while he was in “good condition and healthy”.

    “He’s 18 and he’s won a lot. Last year I didn’t have many horses so I dropped down the ranking a lot, so we’ve not been able to do the better shows with him. There’s no point jumping him around lesser shows than what he’s capable of,” he said.

    “The weather’s ok just now so he’s out day and night with the youngstock and he’s very happy. I have two nice eight-year-old horses, Vermento and I’m Special, so I will be concentrating on them and hopefully we can find another older horse to go to shows with them and I’ll have the three.”

    Robert thanked all of Catwalk’s connections over the years including his parents, grooms and co-owner Mandy Hall.

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