Jack Whitaker has announced his arrival in showjumping’s big league with his first five-star victory. The ambitious teenager chats to Jennifer Donald about Olympic goals, dealing with hard times and sharing horses with his dad
BUOYED by a life-defining first five-star success, Jack Whitaker is brimming with excitement about what the future holds. This ambitious and supremely talented 19-year-old has long shaped in a similar mould to his Olympic silver medal-winning father, Michael, while confidently paving his own path on the jumping circuit. But as if his world-famous surname wasn’t a signal in itself, Jack’s recent victory at the first of this year’s majors, the Dutch Masters, has put Jack firmly on the map as a rider to watch.
“Jumping in my first Rolex grand prix there felt like a big deal but it’s where I’ve wanted to be my whole life, so it was like I was meant to be there,” he ponders with a laid-back approach that also sees him undaunted by competing against some of the highest ranked riders in the world.
“Winning a five-star class was definitely on my bucket list, but I was hoping it was more about when it was going to happen rather than if it was going to happen. I went there to win, not just to participate, so to win the Audi prize was fantastic.
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