Robert Whitaker is Keysoe Grand Prix winner CSI2*
CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix – WHITAKER WALKS THE WIN IN KEYSOE GRAND PRIX
Keysoe, Bedfordshire: the CSI2* Grand Prix, feature class, saw 40 riders tackle the 1.45m course. Only twelve of those would make it through to the jump-off.
In equestrian sport at its highest levels, there is much discussion of the role that pedigree plays in success. The most popular – and successful – bloodlines become household names. In the case of Robert Whitaker, winner of the Keysoe Grand Prix, his own pedigree is that of show jumping royalty. His victory marks the third consecutive Whitaker win in this class – his uncle, Michael, won last year and cousin William won the year prior.
His win came with stalwart partner Catwalk IV. The 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding has been hugely consistent in the six years – and 351 international competitions – he has been with Robert.
The pair’s jump-off round clocked in at 36.02 seconds, but Robert shaved seconds off not by setting a blistering pace between fences, but by making use of the horse’s ability to turn on a sixpence.
“It was steady for him – he was open, but not crazy. The course suited him, because it was all rollback turns,” he said. “He’s been amazing for me through his career, through the CSI5* Grands Prix, and he’s won a fortune. It took a while to get him to come right, and although he’s fourteen now, he’s really healthy. It sounds crazy, but the older he gets, the better he gets.”
“You can do any type of class with him, really – it doesn’t matter, he’ll jump, which just makes it easy. He can jump any Grand Prix and it doesn’t matter how big it is, you don’t need to be nervous with him.”
Robert aims to contest World Cup classes with Catwalk IV, and will head to La Coruna in Spain after giving the horse a short break at his new base in West Sussex.
Ireland’s Trevor Breen took second in the class riding Bombay, with whom he posted a fast jump-off trip of 36.64 seconds.
TOP SIX: CSI2* 1.45m GRAND PRIX
1st – R Whitaker – Catwalk IV
2nd – T Breen – Bombay
3rd – Y Davis – Zilverster II
4th – L Whitaker – Ruby VIII
5th – H Wainright – Pinheiro Beech
6th – J Wilson – Eskola M