Will Whitaker put GB back on the map when he claimed the Queen’s Cup in Barcelona on Saturday.
Riding Fandango, a 14-year-old gelding he jointly owns with wife Elisabeth and her parents Bjorn and Anita Fredland, Will Whitaker was one of twenty-one combinations that posted a first round clear from the field of sixty starters.
Jumping in the order that they were initially drawn, Will and Fandango were one of the latter riders to come forward for the jump-off.
Already knowing there were a number of clears before him, Will decided to take a gamble by turning back after the wall and cutting a corner by jumping over some of the ornamental flowers.
It was a gamble that absolutely paid off and he clocked in a time of 36.58 seconds.
It was a much needed win for Great Britain and Will couldn’t have looked more delighted.
Talking afterwards Performance Manager Di Lampard commented:
“To say I am over the moon with Will’s win would be an understatement. He was tremendous today, his riding was World Class and Fandango was incredible with the way he took on the jump-off course. They both deserved to win and they've been outstanding”.
Paying tribute to Fandango after the presentation Will Whitaker said:
“Fandango is 14-years-old now and he’s an experienced horse and a very talented horse which I have been lucky enough to ride for many years.
"I know him inside out and trust him totally which really helps when you are in a big jump-off like we were in today.
"We were lucky enough to have a late draw and were seventeenth out of the twenty-one to jump.
"My fellow team riders Michael, Ben, Scott and Guy were all watching the class for me which really helped as I could just focus on warming up whilst they were able to let me know we were had to do when I got in there.
"Michael had already spotted that I could jump the flowers when we’d looked at the course earlier, but I wasn’t sure.
"But when I heard that Tiffany Foster had jumped them, I knew I had to do it.
"Fortunately, Fandango has plenty of experience and he just went in and did what he had to do and got the job done as they say!”