Young British rider wins under-25 grand prix at Liverpool

  • James Whitaker won the Equerry Horse Feeds Under-25 Grand Prix on the first day of the TheraPlate UK Liverpool International Horse Show. Riding the Lutener family’s 11-year-old Caloro Ex Z, the 22-year-old member of showjumping’s most famous family produced one of only two double clear rounds.

    Stopping the clock at 42.75 seconds in the jump-off, James overtook fellow British rider Robert Murphy and Highgrove Violet, who completed Alan Wade’s track in 43.25 seconds.

    Faster than them both in a time of 42.68 was Harry Wainwright on Pinheiro Beech, but a pole down in the first round meant they could only finish third, while Ireland’s Jason Foley, the only other first-round clear with Castlefield Cass and last to go in the jump-off, hit two fences and took fourth place.

    James only took over the ride on the Candillo Z gelding from Elizabeth Lutener four months ago.

    He said: “We didn’t have the best of weeks at Olympa, but we’ve come back, tried harder and got stronger for it. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes, and this was just as tough a course as Olympia.

    “Going second-last in the jump-off played into my hands a bit as I could put pressure on Jason in pole position. This is a great way to end the year.”

    Continued below…

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