WIHS to welcome two British powerhouse show jumpers and a hot rookie from The Netherlands
Nick Skelton, 48, Lowsonford, Warwickshire, GBR
Nick has represented his home country of Great Britain in four Olympic Games, in Seoul in 1988, in Barcelona in 1992, in Atlanta in 1996 and again at Athens in 2004. He's been to six World Championships, finishing second one and third three times. He's competed at eleven European Championships, winning three of them. This year he's posted major grand prix wins at Wellington, Florida, Rome Italy, San Patrignano, Italy, and at Lucerne, Belgium. He won the Six bar classes at Calgary and Brussels this year. He has fifty-one major international wins since 2000.
First Nations' Cup ridden: 1978
Number of Nations' Cups ridden: 142
Number of Winning Nations' Cup teams: 41
Michael Whitaker, 46, Whatton, Nottinghamshire, GBR
Michael is the younger brother of John Whitaker and the two are regular members of the British Team. He was three
times to the World Championships(86 team silver, 90 team bronze, 02), numerous times to European Championships
with gold, silver and bronze medals on the team and individually. Over 13 medals at the Olympics, World Championships, and European Championships combined. Like John, Michael was encouraged to ride by his mother at their home in Yorkshire. Michael distinguished himself as a junior as a member of the Gold Medal British Team at the Junior at the 1978 Junior European Championships. He first represented his country in 1982 on a Nations, Cup Team and has since been a member of a member of the British team on numerous occasions. Michael first hit the headlines when he became the youngest winner of the famous Hickstead Derby at the age of 20, riding Owen Gregory. He has ridden on two Olympic teams, competing in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games to the team Silver Medal, and in 1992 at Barcelona, Spain.
First Nations' Cup ridden: 1982
Number of Nations' Cups ridden: 131
Number of Winning Nations' Cup teams: 31
Harrie Smolders, 26, The Netherlands
Harrie has moved up to the top level of equestrian competition following a wonderfully successful junior career in the Netherlands. Since then, he's gained top
placings at Eindover, Germany, Royan, France, the Grand Prix of Dublin, and has competed on the Netherlands Super
League teams at Aachen and Hickstead. Last year at Washington, Harrie won the Friday night Puissance, clearing the wall at 7'4" and preceeded that win with a
victory in the Accumulator class Friday afternoon.
Number of Nations' Cups ridden: 10
Number of Winning Nations' Cup teams: 1