Michael Whitaker, British show jumper

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    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.

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    Major achievements:


  • Member Nations Cup team: La Baule (Wonami van den Aard)


  • Beijing Olympic Games team travelling reserve (Portofino 63)
  • World Cup final, Gothenberg; 9th overall (Suncal Portofino)
  • Member Nations Cup team: Rome 1st; Barcelona Super League final 6th (Suncal Portofino 63); Hickstead =2nd (Wonami van den Aard)


  • Member Nations Cup team: La Baule (Insul Tech Mozart des Hayettes); Rotterdam 1st; Rome 1st; Hickstead 2nd (Suncal Portofino 63); Aachen; Spruce Meadows (Mozart des Hayettes)
  • Great Yorkshire Show: 1st Cock O’ North (Quidame des Hayettes)
  • Member of bronze medal European team, Mannheim (Suncal Portofino 63)


  • CS1**** Sheffield: 1st Zinc Management International Classic (Insultech El Capricho)
  • Member Nations Cup team: Aachen 3rd; Rome =2nd; Rotterdam =5th; Dublin 6th (Insul Tech Portofino 63); Lucern 8th; Hickstead 1st; Spruce Meadows 2nd (Insul Tech Mozart des Hayettes); Barcelona 7th (Insul Tech Leonardo 590)
  • CSIO Barcelona: 1st Grand Prix (Insul Tech Portofino 63)
  • Represented Great Britain at WEG, Aachen (Insul Tech Portofino 63)
  • CSI-W Syracuse: 1st World Cup qualifier (Insul Tech Portofino 63)
  • CSI-W Toronto: Leading International Rider


  • Member Nations Cup team: Wellington 2nd; Rome 1st; Dublin 1st; Aachen 4th; St Gallen 5th (Portofino 63); Barcelona Super League final (Mozart des Hayettes)
  • Member of European Championship team, San Patrignano: 6th (Portofino 63)
  • Las Vegas: 4th World Invitational Grand Prix (Portofino 63)


  • Member Nations Cup team: La Baule 4th (Fleur 195); Rome 2nd; Lucerne 6th; Rotterdam 4th; Gijon (Portfofino 63)
  • Individual reserve Athens Olympics (Portofino 63)


  • Member of World Class Performance Squad 2003
  • Member Nations Cup team: La Baule 3rd; Falsterbo (Handel II); Dublin 2nd (Fleur 195); Calgary 2nd; Barcelona 5th (Abrisca)
  • Member European Championships team, Donauesschingen (Fleur 195)


  • Member Nations Cup team: Linz (Landfurt FCS)
  • BSJA Awards: Leading International Rider
  • World Equestrian Games: Non travelling reserve (Handell II)


  • Member of World Class Performance Squad 2001
  • BSJA Awards: Leading International Rider
  • World Cup final: 3rd (Handell II)
  • Member Nations Cup team: St Gallen 8th (Tornedo FC); Aachen 6th (Prince of Wales); Drammen 7th (Landfurst FCS); Hickstead (V V Prince of Wales); Dublin (First Samuel); Rotterdam 2nd (Give Me Remus)
  • European Championships, Arnhem (Prince of Wales)
  • CSI-W Olympia: 4th World Cup qualifier (Handell II)


  • Member of World Class Performance Squad 2000
  • BSJA Awards: Leading International Rider; Virtual Village Ashley Leading International Horse 1999
  • Member Nations Cup team: La Baule 4th; Modena 5th; Aachen 1st (Prince of Wales FC); Dublin 2nd; Rotterdam 2nd (Handell II)
  • Ranked 11 in Riders with most Nation Cup Wins (28); 3rd in Most Nations Cup Starts (119)


  • Member of World Class Performance Squad 1999
  • CSI-W Gothenburg: 21st World Cup final; 5th overall (Virtual Village Ashley)
  • Member Nations Cup team: Aachen 3rd; Dublin 2nd; Spruce Meadows (V V Ashley); Hickstead 2nd (V V Calavaro Z)
  • European Championships, Hickstead 4th (V V Calavaro FC)

    Michael Whitaker pictures

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