Jack Whitaker has won a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires on his 17th birthday – and is to contend for an individual medal this week.
The young showjumper was part of the European team that finished in second place in the Games, narrowly beaten on time by North America in a jump-off.
In a feat 34 years after his father Michael and uncle John Whitaker won team silver at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Jack and LV Chance Luck jumped clear in their first round of competition, hitting just one fence in the next.
Thanks to strong performances also from his teammates – Italian Giacomo Casdei, Vince Jarmy of Hungary, The Netherlands’ Rowen van de Mheen and Belgian rider Simon Jan Morssinkhof – Europe finished on zero faults, as did North America.
Each team also notched up four counting scores of zero in the jump-off, with North America taking the victory by four seconds.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to win a silver medal at the Youth Olympics,” Jack said.
“I would really like to thank the owners of LV Chance Luck for giving me the opportunity to ride him. He has been fantastic and we’ve formed a good relationship in the short period of time we have had together.
“The experience here has been tremendous and I am now looking forward to the individual [competition]”.
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Competition for the individual medals starts on Friday (12 October) and the medals will be decided on Saturday.
All riders’ scores will be reset to zero and all will ride the same horses as for the team competition, which were lent to them for the Games.
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