John Whittaker delivers first win for Great Britain at Liverpool International


Master craftsman John Whitaker delivered a first British four-star victory of the Liverpool International Horse Show by producing a brilliant performance on Echo of Light.

The accumulator class, sponsored by Equiline/Fearns Farm Partnership - where riders score points for fences jumped - has a maximum 65 points available, including the invaluable joker fence, and Whitaker showed his rivals a clean pair of heels.

Drawn late in the 27-starter field, the 60-year-old Yorkshireman showcased all his experience to claim a maximum score in a blistering time of 43.82 seconds.

Belgium's Wilm Vermeir was second - almost two seconds behind - on Hacienda d'Eversem, while William Whitaker finished third aboard his established campaigner Fandango.

Assessing his performance, John Whitaker said: "I was second-last to go, so I knew what I had to do. He has been a tricky horse to produce, but he has got loads of scope and he is careful. If you go really fast in a class like that, you are going to knock the planks down. It's a fine line between going quickly enough and keeping your control to jump the last plank. Once I jumped one or two, he felt quite relaxed and I knew I was away, so I went for it."




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