British Rio 2016 Show Jumping Team
Today the British Show Jumping Team underwent their horse inspection. Between them, they have a wealth of experience, but do you really know just how much? Read on to find out more…
The team consists of two brothers who are probably two of the most famous names in British showjumping. It is of course the Whitaker brothers. The eldest, John Whitaker, is the senior statesman and anchor man who remains as competitive as ever at the age of 61. Milton, his most famous partner that he started to ride in 1985, gave him his first major win in 1986. He has won a dozen or so team medals at Olympic, World and European Championships. Can you believe that he’ll be riding at his sixth Olympic Games? He rides Ornellaia.
All Olympic athlete five times over, Michael Whitaker first made his international debut aged just 16 and at 20 he became the famous Hickstead Derby’s youngest winner. He first competed at an Olympic Games in 1984 in Atlanta, where he secured a team silver medal. He’s also won prestigious titles such as the King George V Gold Cup and the Hickstead Derby, which he has won a total four times in total. He’ll be competing in his 5th Olympic Games and he rides Cassionata.
This will be the 7th Olympic Games for Nick Skelton who amazingly returned to showjumping in 2002 after breaking his neck. The list of achievements is long and spans four decades. What would the highlight of his career be? Is the winning the Team Gold at the London 2012 Olympics or the British Show Jumping High Jump record, at 7’7” he set at Olympia in 1978 or will it be something from Rio 2016 which is his 7th Olympic Games. He rides Big Star.
The youngest of the selected riders, Ben Maher rides in his 3rd Olympics having been part of the British Showjumping Team in 2012 that won the first gold medal for sixty years. Winning Team Gold with the British Young Riders Team at the European Championships in 2004, he’s now a regular member for the British team. Worthy of note is that he was the first British showjumper to be ranked world number one in 2013. He rides Tic Tac
Travelling Reserve is Jessica Mendoza. Accepted on to the World Class Development Programme in 2013, she’s ridden on British teams at major international championships every year since. Following a series of consistent, in 2015 she was announced The Longines Rising Star of 2015 in recognition of her talent and also broke into the top 10 British showjumping riders in the same year. She rides Spirit T
EQUUS wishes horses and riders a successful Rio campaign!