Making his return to Horse of the Year Show very worthwhile, William Whitaker secured his victory in the Speed Horse of the Year class on the final day of competition. William last competed at the show in 2015 in national competitions but it is his first year competing here in international classes.
Aboard RMF Echo, a 15-year-old chestnut gelding owned by Rushy Marsh Farm LLC, William had his foot on the throttle as he took on the 1.45m course against the clock. Navigating some clever turns he jumped into first place on a time of 45.40 seconds. Hot on William’s heels was French rider Max Thirouin who rode an impressive round but had to settle for second place, just 0.03 seconds outside the time.
Speaking of his win, William commented: “It’s great to be back here competing. I’ve had a fairly quiet week up to now, the horses have jumped well and I’m really using this as part of the transition to the indoor season. I had my plan of what I wanted to do, and I stuck to it and then I just had to sit and watch. A few people came close but it feels great to take the win. This is an exciting horse; he is very experienced, and he is always right there with me, anticipating what’s next. I started riding him in January this year and we have been competing on the continent.”
William spends most of the summer riding in Germany and the winter riding in Florida, away from his wife and children in Huddersfield. “It’s one of the few competitions I have done in Britain this year, so I’m really pleased to be going home with a win.”
Listen to William Whitaker’s interview here courtesy of LloydBell Productions: