Michael Whitaker was born on 17 March 1960 and is the younger brother of John Whitaker.
Part of the highly successful Whitaker family, Michael is one of Britain’s leading show jumpers of all time.
He has competed in five Olympic Games, four World Championships and 12 European Championships, taking home three gold, seven silver and four bronze medals. He has also won the Hickstead Derby four times (1980; 1991; 1992; 1993) and the King George V Cup four times (1982; 1989; 1992; 1994).
Michael was taught to ride by his mother on the family farm in Yorkshire and soon began competing on his own and friends’ ponies, winning a gold and a bronze medal at the Junior Championships in 1976 and 1978.
He quickly progressed to horses where his talent and determination really shone.
Major achievements throughout his career include becoming the youngest ever winner of the Hickstead Derby in 1980, aged 20, and taking over from his brother John as the world’s number one show jumper for the first time in September 1993. He has also been a British team member for the Nations Cup from 1982 to the present time, representing his country 170 times and taking home 34 wins.
Other notable achievements include his record of being the highest placed British rider in the World Cup final in 1999, finishing 5th with Virtual Village, which he beat in 2001 by finishing 3rd with Handell II and again in 2005 with a second place on Portofino.
Michael was ranked 6th on the BSJA list from May 2008 to April 2009.
He is currently based in Nottinghamshire.
Michael Whitaker videos
Member Nations Cup team: La Baule (Wonami van den Aard)