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Whitaker dynasty among top Brits to compete at Liverpool

World-leading showjumpers are set to go head-to-head at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show (28 to 31 December) as they battle it out in classes including in the prestigious New Year’s Eve grand prix.

Among the top riders competing, the Whitaker dynasty will be represented by John and Michael, who will be joined by Robert and Jack, Ellen and William.

“Leading British stars Holly Smith, Guy Williams, William Funnell, Louise Saywell, Matthew Sampson and Georgia Tame will be joining them to provide the very best showjumping sport in the run-up to the new year,” said a spokesman for the Liverpool International Horse Show.

“The show is always a huge draw for Irish riders with last year’s grand prix winner Shane Breen confirmed to attend. Shane will again be riding Golden Hawk – a leading stallion owned by new show supporters Old Lodge Stud. He will be joined by Daniel Coyle and Billy Twomey, a two-time Liverpool champion, Anthony Condon, Richard Howley and Mikey Pender.”

Overseas competition will come by way of riders including Angelie Von Essen for Sweden, Tobis Meyer for Germany and Italian Olympian Emanuele Guadiano.

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Top riders to battle it out in ‘must-watch’ grand prix final

The ‘high-calibre spectacle’ will be against the clock, featuring showjumps at a maximum of 1.25m, with three added seconds for


Show president Nina Barbour said: “With such a strong line-up for this year’s event, we are set for a real treat on New Year’s Eve with what promises to be the most competitive TheraPlate UK grand prix to date.”

The spokesman added that the Monday evening puissance (29 December) is building to be one of the “hottest” competitions of the show.

“Fighting it out are puissance specialists Mikey Pender with Hearton de Bois Halleux, Nano Healy and KMS Clintland, Harry Whall with the well-established Quality Old Joker and Michael Whyte with Amaretto,” he said.

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