John Whitaker & Argento Claim Ivy Stakes on Home Ground at Olympia CSI5*-W
John Whtaker & Argento. Ph. ©Revolution Sports.
Action at Olympia, the London International Horse Show continued on Sunday, December 17, 2017 after the afternoon’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping was won by Frenchman Julien Epaillard.
The evening CSI5* class, The Ivy Stakes, proved to be another challenging content, with just six clears through to the jump-off, however a speed masterclass from John Whitaker secured the victory, ahead of Ben Maher and Laura Renwick, to make a British one-two-three.
John Whitaker’s assiduous scrutinising of the jump-off course for The Ivy Stakes paid off in spades as he found the most audacious turn which had the crowd roaring their appreciation.
The cheers became deafening as his winning time of 33.17 seconds flashed up, signalling the 62-year-old’s second victory of the week on his own and wife Clare Whitaker’s 15-year-old stallion Argento.
It was a thrilling end to a great day’s sport with a British one-two-three, Ben Maher second on Madame X and Laura Renwick third on MHS Washington, with the younger riders all quick to acknowledge a genius ride.
“I studied the course carefully because I knew Kevin [Staut, eventual fourth on S&L Through the Looking Glas] was last to go and I had to do something,” explained Whitaker, who has been competing here for four decades.
“It shows what a good horse he is because when we did the sharp turn the crowd gave a big cheer and that could have put him off. This show is special, with the crowds and Christmas and everything. It’s a great feeling and I feel lucky to still be in the sport.”
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The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 12-18 December 2017 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington, London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.