Michael Whitaker Returns to the Global Champions Tour

Michael Whitaker Returns to the Global Champions Tour

Having competed on the Global Champions Tour from 2007-2009 with the likes of Mozart des Hayettes, Wonami van de Aard, Portofino and Amai, Michael Whitaker returns to the world’s best show jumping tour in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

After a period of two years absence from the tour the British rider makes his way to the second last round of the 10 round Global Champions Tour with Viking and Mirrabel and is looking forward to being at the top level event.

“The GCT scene is really great as the shows are so well organised and of course the money on offer is a huge attraction. It is the first time that I have been to the Rio de Janeiro event and I am really looking forward to it. The last time I rode at a GCT event was in Cannes in 2009 where I rode Portofino in the Grand Prix.

I will travel to Rio with Billy Twomey and I would have liked my son to have also come to the event but he has a big pony jumping show on the same weekend.”

He also commented on his choice of horses for the event. “Sadly Amai took a knock to the leg at the Rotterdam Nations Cup last weekend and has bruising so she has to be rested. The scan proved there was not a serious injury, just a strain. So the other horses have to step up.”

Michael’s climb up the FEI ranking this year to stand now at 27th position on list 126, a cool 10 positions higher than the previous list and he attributes this to good performances since Olympia in December 2010.

“Amai won a good class at Olympia and from there we took further solid placings and points at 5 star events like Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Rome and Hickstead and the three star event in Arezzo.

I also travelled with a good team to Calgary, Spruce Meadows and had good successes there with Viking and my talented young Grand Prix mare Wild Rose. This event is a great stamping ground for developing young horses as they have lots of classes and good arenas.”

The atmosphere generated by the live audience on the night has become a key part of the Athina Onassis International Horse Show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Brazil is something the sports stars really enjoy and Michael is thrilled to be going to the event for the first time.

“It is incredible to see how the Global Champions Tour has grown over the past four years, he stated. “ I am just happy that I can ride on the tour, hopefully go well and take some of the money home. Of course I want to see it all in Rio.”

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