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Congrats Robert and Vermento!

Thursday, 03 August 2023
CSIO5* Longines Royal International Horse Show 2023

Robert Whitaker and Vermento crowned an incredible weekend for the Brits with a win in the CSIO5* 1.60m Longines King George V Gold Cup on the last day of the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead. The victory was especially meaningful to Robert and his family, as his father John has bred Vermento – that is by his former Grand Prix horse Argento, out of the mare Vicky van de Grundeval by Skippy II. Together, John and Robert have produced the stallion who jumped his first five-star Grand Prix at Hickstead after also being part of the second-placed Nations Cup team at Falsterbo in July. 

Robert is the third member of his famous family to lift the iconic King George V Gold Cup trophy, following in the footsteps of his father John – a three-time winner – and his uncle Michael, who has won four times.

“When I was going in the first round I was really nervous, because you never know what can happen in this ring,” Robert said. “But actually, this is a local show for me, so I jump here a lot, and he’s jumped a lot in smaller classes in the ring, so he knows the ring quite well – I think that worked well in my favour today,” he added.

Here we look back at some of the highlights as the Whitaker-family could celebrate yet another big win at Hickstead! 

Photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping, all rights reserved. If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Nine of the 45 starters produced a clear first round after Kelvin Bywater’s tricky course caught many of the competitors out.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ One of those were Robert and Vermento.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “It’s just amazing, my dad bred the horse, and we’ve put a lot of work in him," Robert said.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Time for the jump-off.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ It was a very happy dad and breeder that saw Robert and Vermento being the first to clear the jump-off. In the end they were the only pair with a double clear result, bringing home the win.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ “I just think today he was feeling very good in himself, he jumped amazing in the first round and in the jump-off he still had a lot of energy left, and I think that showed today," Robert said.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Robert together with William as he had to watch the rest of the jump-off unfold.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Robert was clearly very happy after his double clear, and then just had to wait and see how far it would take him.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. It was a nervous wait for Robert Whitaker as he watched the remaining horses and riders in the jump-off...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. ... and the same went for John.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ When a pole fell for the last rider Daniel Coyle, there were a lot of emotions for Robert and his family.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Tears of joy for both father and son, and that does not happen very often!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Happy owner!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Thumbs up!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Congratulations Team Whitaker!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Such a beauty!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Vermento wasn't quite sure about entering the prize giving, so Pedro Veniss and Nimrod de Muze Z had to help out a little.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Second-placed Pedro Veniss was all smiles as the winners received standing ovations.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Smiles all around at the prize giving! Congratulations to everyone involved!

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