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Michael Whitaker's Viking moves to his groom Leila Chew to enjoy retirement

Friday, 02 October 2020

Photo © private collection
Viking with his long-time groom Leila Chew. Photo © private collection.


Text © World of Showjumping



This week, Michael Whitaker's Viking (Jacomar x Almox Prints) moved to his groom Leila Chew in Staffordshire, Great Britain, to enjoy his well-deserved retirement days. Viking was Whitaker’s partner at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen, France. 

"Viking was supposed to retire this year, but was still in work at Michael's yard until March – when the pandemic hit with full force,” Leila explains about the now 18-year-old gelding. "With so few shows, Michael thought he would not get Viking competing again and he was put out on the field." 

Recently, Whitaker suggested that Viking should rather stay with Leila – who has worked for the British legend for the past six years. Leila is now combining studies with a part-time job for Whitaker, as well as caring for her daughter that was born in March. “Michael told me that since Viking is sound, I should take him home and ride him – just to have fun,” Leila tells. "Viking now lives at a farm near my house, together with my daughter's Shetland pony and my partner's horse – and is so happy! He loves the Shetland pony, and really enjoys living outside – he has a stable at the farm but honestly he does not use it very much." 


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