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Juliette Faligot’s Arqana de Riverland to John Whitaker

Monday, 15 January 2024

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Juliette Faligot and Arqana de Riverland. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



Juliette Faligot’s 14-year-old mare Arqana de Riverland (Cornet Obolensky x Diamant de Semilly, bred by SCEA Riverland) will in the future be seen under Great Britain’s living legend John Whitaker. The new partnership has been created with the objective of participating at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France. 

As the nationality of the owner of a horse competing at Paris 2024 must be the same as that of the rider and entered into the FEI Database by 15 January 2024, a change was made in the mare’s ownership on 3rd of January this year to give Whitaker a percentage of the horse. Faligot, who started riding Arqana when the mare was seven, still remains the main owner. 

Faligot has brought the wonderful grey mare up the levels, all the way to the five-star Grand Prix classes. In 2022, the pair placed 2nd in the CSI4* 1.55m Grand Prix in Bourg-en-Bresse, 4th in the CSI5* 1.60m Grand Prix in Dinard and won the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix in Deauville. They also jumped double clear in the CSIO3* 1.50m Nations Cup in Vilamoura to help the French team to the win. In 2023, they started where they had left off in Vilamoura – with a victory in the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix and also helped France to the win in the CSIO3* Nations Cup in Peelbergen later in the year. They were also placed in last year’s CSI4* Grand Prix classes in Chantilly and Deauville, as well as in St Lo and Rouen – to mention some of their many highlights together. 

After such a long and special partnership, it has not been an easy decision for Faligot to hand over the reins to Whitaker – but she believes that it is the right one. “Arqana has championship potential,” Faligot explained to World of Showjumping. “We have a beautiful connection and we know each other very well – I have competed with her from two-star to five-star level. However, for myself, riding for France, it does not seem like a realistic goal to try and compete for a place at the Olympics myself. Therefore, I have decided to give the ride to John – who I have long admired as a rider and have a good relationship with.”

“The relationship between a horse and their rider is essential,” Faligot continues. “I agree with John’s mentality and even though it is a hard decision to give up Arqana, I feel comfortable with my choice of rider. At the moment, she is still in my stable, and in a few weeks’ time John will compete with her in Belgium. After that, the plan is for him to take Arqana to Doha and Vejer de la Frontera to see how they match.” 

“Arqana has done some fantastic things with Juliette, and I’m very happy that she has given me the ride,” Whitaker commented to World of Showjumping. “I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it goes.”

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