Happy 60th birthday to showjumping legend John Whitaker

Showjumping videos 28 Videos Leonora Smee’s blog: these are a few of my favourite things (I wouldn't be without them) 03:21 Leonora Smee's blog: it was an emotional moment that words just cannot describe 07:10 Leonora Smee's blog: packing for all eventualities 02:21 Leonora Smee's blog: see behind the scenes of an incredible show in St Tropez 05:25 Leonora Smee's blog: hoping my luck continues 03:37 Royal Windsor Horse Show showjumping: 10-14 May 03:06 'I'd do it all again': watch Nick Skelton and Big Star's retirement ceremony 13:14 'A big honour': Nick Skelton talks candidly about retiring at Windsor 02:17 Leonora Smee's blog: How is this going to help me in competition? 04:09 Leonora Smee's blog: come and have a sneaky look inside my horsebox 04:22 Leonora Smee's blog: Polos are key 09:59 CSI2* Aino Masters showjumping from Järvenpää: 23-26 March 7:36:40 Live Oak CSI3*-W showjumping in Florida: 10 March 3:21:13 Live Oak CSI3*-W showjumping in Florida: 11 March 3:24:33 Bury Farm Bareback Challenge: 25 February 1:57:48 Leonora Smee's blog: One of my most useful schooling tools 04:53 Desert Classic showjumping in California: 10 February 1:26:00 FEI showjumping children's international classic final 2016 in Mexico: 28 January 1:27:20 1.50m FEI showjumping from Guadalajara in Mexico: 26 January 2:12:24 1.45m FEI showjumping from Guadalajara in Mexico: 27 January 2:48:52 Meet new H&H blogger Leonora Smee 04:33 Keen to improve your horse's jump? Shane Breen swears by this simple exercise 00:17 Watch AP McCoy jump Olympic gold-medallist Big Star 00:23 The killer turn that won the H&H Foxhunter Championship at HOYS 05:19 Showjumper Nicole Pavitt: 'I kept falling off, which made me more determined' 03:56 Watch Scott Brash win Global Champions Tour in Estoril 00:42 Happy 60th birthday to showjumping legend John Whitaker 05:17 Watch Scott Brash and Roger Yves Bost go head-to-head in nail-biting jump off 00:50

Six-time Olympian John Whitaker, who turns 60 today (5 August, 2015), has been the linchpin of British showjumping since taking on the ride on Ryan’s Son as a teenager. This horse had just 50 points on his card when he and John met, but their partnership lasted 14 years and included team silver at the 1984 Olympic Games. John said that Ryan’s Son “put him on the map” after a win at the Great Yorkshire Show against John’s heroes Harvey Smith and David Broome.

Perhaps the most famous of John’s rides is the great grey, Milton, who with John became the first showjumping horse to win in excess of £1million in prize-money. Together they won the illustrious grand prix at Spruce Meadows, as well as consecutive World Cup finals in 1990-91, and individual and team medals at the 1987 and 1989 European championships and the 1990 World Equestrian Games.

Continued below…

John is the only rider in history to have won the Hickstead Derby four times on different horses, and has also triumphed three times in the King George V Cup, with Ryan’s Son, Milton and Welham. He has more than 180 Nations Cup appearances and 11 European championship call-ups.

And he’s still at the top of his game – currently ranked seventh in the Longines Global Champions Tour (GCT) table with two runner-up spots in GCT grands prix this year. His current star, Argento, would have been a shoo-in for this years’ Europeans had John not decided that the arena would not suit him – the dark bay powerhouse is most suited to smaller arenas like Olympia and HOYS. And with horses like Ornellaia, Castlefield Cristobal and Uni Stop coming up through the ranks, John has most certainly got his sights set on future seasons.

John Whitaker’s major achievements

  • Won 25 medals at world, Olympic and European level
  • Competed in the 1980, 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics
  • Member of the Nations Cup team more than 180 times with over 40 victories
  • Team bronze in the European championships 2007
  • Team bronze in the European championships 1997
  • Team bronze in the world championships 1998
  • Team silver in the European championships 1995
  • Team silver in the European championships 1993
  • Team silver in the European championships 1991
  • Individual silver and team bronze  in the world championships 1990
  • Individual and team gold in the European championships 1987
  • Team silver in the world championships 1986
  • Individual bronze and team gold in the European championships 1985
  • Team silver in the European championships 1984
  • Individual and team silver in the European championships in 1983
  • Team bronze  in the World Championships 1982
  • Individual and team Silver in the Alternative Olympic Games 1980

Showjumping Horses for Sale