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William Whitaker: "The show supplied us with extra rugs"

Saturday, 13 September 2014

William Whitaker. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.William Whitaker is the fifth Whitaker to win at the Masters, and the British rider started the press conference by saying: "This is something I have dreamed of for as long as I can remember. This show has always been on my bucket list. To come and win a big class my first time here is fantastic."

"Upperclass is quite a natural quick horse anyway. I had my plan and I knew the area where I had to take a little bit of time and where I could make up a little bit of time. It was quite big out there so I didn't want to take too many risks, but I needed to be fast enough to put some pressures on the others," William said about his jump-off.

This was not just a win for William, as his family has a long history with Spruce Meadows: "My grandma and grandpa used to come here every year to support John and Michael. It is nice to think about when they used to come here and spend a lot of time here, and then to do it for them."

William was asked to tell a little bit more about his horse Upperclass: "Upperclass is 13 year old. He belongs to my girlfriend and my girlfriend's parents. My girlfriend Elisabet used to ride him and I started to ride him when she got pregnant with our first child. She is 2,5 now, so a little bit longer than that. He is a great horse. To be honest, he has been on a really good form this year. He won two Grand Prix's and numerous of classes so he is a real addition to my string of horses".

On the questions about Spruce Meadows and if he was prepared for the unpredictable weather William says: "I don't think there is a show like Spruce Meadows in the world actually. Here with the impressive jumps and the fantastic grand stands it really creates an atmosphere that I think a lot of the horses aren't used to. It is great to ride here. Having that horse and coming in and that he adapted to this arena so quickly was great. He nearly won yesterday's big class where he had the last fence down and it was my fault".

"To be honest I'm from Yorkshire which is in the North of England so it is a bit the same with the weather. One minute you can ride in a t-shirt, in the next minute you get snowed on. The team here have done a fantastic job. The footing is unbelievable. But we weren't prepared for it so in panic we bought some quilts from Wal-Mart. The show supplied us with extra rugs which is fantastic. When I arrived on Sunday I though "I can't believe I didn't pack any shorts" and on Monday I though "I can't believe I didn't pack any Long Johns"."

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