CSI 5*

Robert Whitaker & El Wee Widge Top €27,000 Longines Christmas Cracker CSI 5* at Olympia

London International Horse Show 2018

An Olympia victory was just what the doctor ordered when, two weeks after having his appendix removed, Robert Whitaker (GBR) produced a masterful performance in a 13-horse jump-off for Friday’s main class, The €27,000 Longines Christmas Cracker CSI 5* during Olympia – The London International Horse Show CSI 5*-W in England.

London International Horse Show 2018

Robert Whitaker (GBR) & El Wee Widge

His winning mount was the relatively inexperienced nine-year-old El Wee Widge (Wheaweij de Landetta x Lester), owned by his uncle, Michael Whitaker.

London International Horse Show 2018

Robert Whitaker (GBR) & El Wee Widge

“I just said to Michael: ‘I’m going to have a bit of a go’ as the horse likes to go forward,” said Robert, who took over the ride when his uncle was injured, finishing second in a major class at Oslo Show. “I went to Michael and said that I was really short of horses and he kindly let me have El Wee Widge.”

Laura Kraut (USA), a team gold medallist this year at the World Equestrian Games, came closest to catching Robert – she was just 0.4 seconds slower on the grey Confu (Contact me x Cambridge), beating young British rider Holly Smith (GBR) on Claddagh Iroko (Iroko x Cruising) by a mere one-hudnredth of a second.

Keeping it in the family, Robert’s father John had the crowd roaring in excitement but he lost time trying to keep the mare Leen O.L. on her line and had to settle for fourth place.

London International Horse Show 2018

Robert Whitaker (GBR) & El Wee Widge during the awards ceremony

For full results, please click here.

Source: Press release from Revolution Sports for Olympia – The London International Horse Show

Photos: © Horsepower / Kit Houghton