Life lessons: Legendary showjumper John Whitaker *H&H Plus*

John is one of the most decorated showjumpers in the history of the sport, winning more than 20 championship medals including team silver at the Los Angeles Olympics. The 64-year-old is married to Clare and is based near Huddersfield in his native West Yorkshire.

David Broome and Harvey Smith were my idols growing up. When I started competing at the bigger shows, they were at the top of the sport, so they certainly inspired me. They were both brilliant in different ways, so I used to watch and learn what I could from them – and many other top riders over the years such as Hugo Simon and Nelson Pessoa. Even now, sometimes when I’m riding I’ll think, “How would Hugo Simon solve that problem?”

At a show one day, David advised me, “When you think you’ve done enough work on your horse, do another 10 minutes,” and I think about that tip quite often – never cut your work short.