William and Ellen Whitaker split puissance win at Olympia

  • Ellen Whitaker and William Whitaker split the Accenture puissance prize at Olympia after they both cleared 7ft 2in over the wall in front of a packed house.

    The defending champion William, riding Insul Tech Leonardo, and his cousin, Ellen, with Ladina B, were the only two riders to make it to the fifth and final round of the class. Both cleared the wall with ease.

    “I couldn’t have split the prize with anyone better,” said William, who recorded his third puissance win with this horse. “I just tried to keep Leonardo calm, because he does get wound up by the crowds and atmosphere.”

    Listen to William and Ellen’s interview

    Ellen’s result in the puissance was her second major win of the show. Her first win of the day came in the Accenture stakes with Kanselier. She also won the mini-major relay on Thursday with Holly Jones (Swansea Jack II). Her round in the speed class signalled a change of fortunes.

    “It’s just been the most awful year,” she said. “I’ve not had much luck, but I had a good day yesterday and now this.”

    Kanselier has been a great winner for Ellen and even at 17-years-old he’s still at the top of his game.

    Lance Whitehouse, on his first visit to Olympia, won the Accenture young show jumper of the year title from first draw with Grahame Sparkes’s My Boy. This is Lance’s final year in young rider classes, as he is now 21, and winning at Olympia was special for the Leicetsershire-based rider.

    “This is one of the best shows in the world,” he said. “Cantering around that arena with your prize is really something.”

    Listen to Lance Whitehouse’s interview

    Ireland’s Cian O’Connor had an “emotional” win in the Christmas Cracker with Aileen Bryan’s Rancorrado.

    “I watched my idols here as a teenager,” he said. “This is my second time here and my first win at this show. It means a lot after having dreamt of competing at Olympia.”

    Stay in touch with all the action from Olympia on Horseandhound.co.uk throughout the show and don’t miss H&H’s show jumping reports in 25 December issue (on sale 23 December) and 1 January issue (on sale 2 January).

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