Whitaker rides ‘luck’ for latest triumph 
in Austria

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HUDDERSFIELD’S William Whitaker continued his rich vein of form by scooping the weekend’s CSI three-star Grand Prix on Fandango III at the Glock Horse Performance Centre in Treffen, Austria.

With both world ranking list points and total prize money of 100,000 euros on offer, 39 combinations faced up to tackle Frank Rothenberger’s 1.55m course.

And only five combinations achieved a clear round, including Whitaker and Fandango as well as uncle John Whitaker on board wife Clare’s bay stallion Argento.

Both then made their bids for glory in the excitingly-laid-out jump-off but four penalties put paid to the elder Whitaker’s victory quest as the veteran had to settle for fifth.

But there was no stopping 25-year-old rising star William, who produced one of only three clear rounds on Fandango III, a 12 year-old bay gelding owned by his partner Elisabeth Fredlund.

Whitaker and Fandango raced across the finish line in a time of 35.23 seconds, the fastest double clear of the competition, but just a fraction of a second faster than Omer Karaevli from Turkey, who clocked 35.57 seconds with the only other double clear.

Holland’s Gerco Schroder and Clock’s Cognac Champblanc were back in third but the day belonged to man of the moment William, who modestly insisted he had luck on his side.

“I don’t know what made the difference, but Lady Luck was certainly on my side,” said Whitaker.

“My uncle didn’t win but he’s sure to be pleased to see another Whitaker standing up there.”

Sunday’s Yorkshire Area Point To Point meeting at Mordon was postponed because of the weather.

The meeting organised by the South Durham Hunt Farmers’ Club has been re-arranged for Sunday, February 22.

Entries close on Monday, February 16 at noon.