Whitaker and Dujardin wow crowds at Olympia

Whitaker and Dujardin wow crowds at Olympia

23 December 2018 / 13:01

William Whitaker and Charlotte Dujardin were the star British performers at the Olympia Horse Show, with both earning World Cup medals in front of a home crowd.

Whitaker won showjumping gold on Saturday, beating nine other riders in a dramatic play-off on Utamaro D Ecaussines.

The 29-year-old was close to tears at the end after he finished his round in 37.02s to pip Belgium’s Karel Cox by 0.19s and USA’s Laura Kraut by 0.68s.

"That was the longest time of my life," said Whitaker, whose uncle Michael finished fourth on Valmy de la Lande.

"I'm delighted, I just can't believe it. This is on a different level, the best. It all worked out as I planned, but it helps if you are on a horse like mine.

“He has such a good brain. I had trouble getting him into canter in the warm-up, but once he got inside the arena, he lit up. It’s amazing. This is the biggest win of my career.”

Whitaker’s win followed Dujardin’s silver medal on Tuesday, as she guided Hawtins Delicato, borrowed three weeks ago from Carl Hester, to a superb 80.030 in the dressage freestyle.

Dujardin, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, was tied with Frederic Wandres but the German's tally was a personal best and he was given the nod over the Briton due to higher artistic marks.

"I was really happy with Delicato, he's a young inexperienced horse," she said. 

"I rode him as a youngster through Small Tour levels and he did his first Grand Prix in January and then Carl [Hester] took over the ride.

"I literally got on him three weeks ago. I didn't know what to expect from him in this environment and I'm pleased with our clear round, there's so much more to come from him."

Sportsbeat 2018