Profile: John Whitaker
- Published: 22/06/2016
- Updated: 18/12/2016
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Date of Birth: 05/8/1955
Birthplace: Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England
Height: 1.61 m / 5′ 3″
Career: ? – Present
John Whitaker MBE is a British equestrian and Olympian. Robert, one of his three children has successfully show jumped at the highest levels. Show jumping seems to run in the family with John’s niece Ellen Whitaker, nephew William Whitaker and younger brother Michael Whitaker, having all competed.
He began riding at age six on his family’s farm, where John’s mother Enid ran a riding school and his father Donald had working horses. He entered his first competition at age eight.
Together with his wife Clare and daughter Joanne, he runs a jumping yard and commercial stud called John Whitaker Stallions at Stud & Horses, which is based near Huddersfield, England. He and Clare are also managing directors of John Whitaker International, a business that manufactures and supplies equestrian products.
In December 2000 he became ill and collapsed prior to a show in Stockholm, Sweden. Following treatment for a suspected brain haemorrhage, he made a full recovery and returned to competition in May 2001 at an international show in St. Gallen, Switzerland.
John, despite having passed his 60th birthday is still competitive at international level. And has competed in 39 major international championships collecting 24 medals.
“Instead of focusing on a specific victory, I would rather be consistent from week to week. I don’t aim to win at all costs. I love doing what I do, and winning is a bonus. As long as I can pay my bills, I’m happy.”
1980 World Championship Individual and Team Silver medallist.
European Team Silver medallist – 1991, 1995.
Competed in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2016 Olympic Games.
Competed in the 1994 and 2006 World Championships.
Competed in 21 FEI World Cup Finals, winning in 1990 and 1991.
2015 LGCT Monaco Grand Prix Silver medallist.
Competed for Team GB in Rio 2016 in Equestrian Jumping Individual, and Equestrian Jumping Team.
John claims the most influential person in his career is his father.
The British jumper Harvey Smith is his Hero.