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.”
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It was a British clean sweep in the showjumping classes at TheraPlate UK Liverpol today, as Harriet Nuttall took both of the first two competitions — the opening 1.40m two-phase on Night Of Glory, and the Ifor Williams Trailers Ride & Drive with Silver Lift.
Guy Williams won the Pullman Hotel 1.45m speed class on the experienced Rouge De Ravel.
“He’s probably won about 20 rankings classes this year and something like this is right up his street because he’s very fast,” said Guy. “The only person I was worried about was Lily [Attwood, who finished second] — I train her and I know her horse is really fast too.”