George who? Another graduate of Britain’s famous Whitaker showjumping clan is starting to make his mark in open competition.
Nineteen-year-old George Whitaker leaped up 123 places in showjumping’s Rolex rankings for May, into 231st place.
Based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire in Northern England, George is from showjumping’s most successful family, and forms part of the next generation of the Whitaker dynasty, along with his brother William, and cousins Ellen and Robert. His uncles, John and Michael, have been the cornerstone of the British Jumping team for the last 30 years; they both won team silver at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games as well as numerous European and World Championship medals. George’s father, Ian, is the only non-showjumping brother of the family.
Whitaker is part of the British Equestrian Federation’s UK Sport-funded World Class Development Programme, which works with talented riders to maximise their potential and deliver success in Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. He is undergoing an apprenticeship with the intention of gaining skills in horse care and management.
In July 2008, at the age of just 16, he won both the individual and team gold at the FEI European Pony Jumping Championships in Avenches (SUI), riding 10-year-old gelding, The Colour of Money.
In July 2011, Whitaker made his debut at Young Rider level with the talented 11-year-old mare, Tubana, where the pair received team bronze at the European Championships in Comporta (POR). Later the same year, Whitaker achieved a double win in Austria at the CSI2* Grand Prix Salzburg Arena Messezentrum, where he also won the prize for the highest placed Under-25 rider.
2012 has seen the young rider develop his talents further, having claimed victory at the CSI2* Grand Prix Comporta (POR) and the CSI3* Grand Prix Maubeuge (FRA), both aboard Tubana.
The Rolex Rankings are updated monthly and issued at the start of each calendar month. Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson is currently ranked number one.