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Jack Whitaker and Scenletha stun in the Audi Prize at The Dutch Masters

Saturday, 24 April 2021
The Dutch Masters 2021

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Jack Whitaker and Scenletha won the Audi Prize at The Dutch Masters. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

The second day of The Dutch Masters in s'Hertogenbosch ended electric, with the CSI5* 1.55m Audi Prize full of excitement – despite the lack of audience due to Covid-19 restrictions. With the very best horses and riders present, eleven out of the 41 starters cleared their way into the deciding jump-off. The course set by Louis Konickx (NED) proved tricky with airy verticals and wide oxers – and the consecutive roll-backs in the jump-off surprised some. 

In the jump-off, only five pairs managed to keep a clear score. As second to go, Scott Brash (GBR) on Hello Vincent (Consul di Vie Z x Fergar Mail) set the standard, stopping the clock on 36.16 seconds. Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA) on Grand Slam VDL (Cardento x Heartbreaker) – a stallion that did his 1.55m debut – delivered a great round but could not match Brash's time. Another newcomer on this level was the only 8-year-old Constantin (Colestus x Quidam de Revel). With Christian Kukuk (GER) in the saddle, the pair delivered a clear but opted for a steady round.

Brash seemed unbeatable until his compatriot Jack Whitaker – the youngest rider at the event with his 19 years – entered the ring as second last to go. Riding Scenletha (Scendix x Contendra I), Whitaker did a beautiful round, mastering the difficult roll-backs and opening up on the long gallop to the last fence, crossing the finish line in 35.79 seconds. As last to go, Kent Farrington (USA) on Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris) slotted into runner-up position with a time of 36.12, pushing Brash to third, Zanotelli to fourth and Kukuk to fifth. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Lap of honour for the young British talent Jack Whitaker and Scenletha. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

"It is difficult to put this into words," Whitaker said afterwards, overwhelmed with having beaten some of the biggest names in the sport – such as Grand Slam-winner Scott Brash. "If you are in this sport, you have to idolize Scott: He is one of the best in the sport at the moment and probably the best of my generation. You have to admire him. Watching him in the first round; that is how I wanted to ride. When I went over the finish, I was happy enough and was expecting to be maybe third or fourth."

Whitaker has been riding the now 11-year-old Scenletha since the mare was eight. "She has been so consistent over the past years," Whitaker said. "Scenletha is a fantastic mare. She is so fast. I knew I had a chance; I just did not think I had a chance of winning. She is one of my best horses, I can rely on her – she is always there." 

For the 19-year-old winner, taking part at The Dutch Masters is a dream come true. "It feels fantastic to be here," he said. "This is something I have dreamed of all my life. I can't thank the Young Riders Academy enough for their support." 

As to his plans for Sunday, the happy winner continued: "I hope we can repeat this tomorrow!" 

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