With a family name that has been synonymous with British Showjumping in Great Britain for more than 30 years, Ellen Whitaker has forged her way as a leading lady rider in her own right; representing Great Britain at World Cup and Nations Cup competitions.
Ellen’s most notable results include winning Hickstead Speed Derby in 2007 and 2010 and finishing second to her uncle John in the 2004 Hickstead Derby. Ellen and Locarno 62 had an illustrious career including jumping a double clear on their first Super League Nations Cup appearance in La Baule in 2005. Ellen placed 3rd place in Rome Grand Prix CSIO 5* and won the Gold medal on the Nations Cup Team with Locarno 62.
Ellen has been selected and competed in two Young Rider Europeans, Hagen and San Remo. Ellen won the Team Silver medal in San Remo and she competed on the Senior European team in San Patrigano when she was 19. Unfortunately, Locarno 62 picked up a life-threatening virus out there and they had to withdraw. They then went on to compete on the Senior European team in Mannheim in 2008, Ellen and Locarno 62 jumped triple clear taking home the Team Bronze medal, helping the Team qualify for the Beijing Olympics. After this performance, Ellen and Locarno were shortlisted for the Olympics but had to withdraw after Locarno 62 picked up an injury.
Her father, Steven Whitaker, has represented Great Britain on numerous occasions, cementing the Whitaker family as a cornerstone in British Showjumping. Ellen received the British Showjumping Rider of the Year and Members' Personality of the Year awards in 2005. She also received the U21 Rider of the Year award in 2006. Ellen was named the 2005 Rookie of the Year by the American Grand Prix Association [AGA].
More recently Ellen has joined forces with her partner, Spanish showjumper, Antonio Marinas Soto. Together Ellen and Antonio run Whitaker Marinas Equestrian, producing, competing and coaching for and at the most prestigious national and international competitions on the circuit.
Ellen’s current string of horses see her competing regularly in CSI and Grand Prix classes. Most recently, riding Arena UK Winston, she finished second in a competitive 1.45m class at St Lô in France and fourth in a CSI4* class in at La Coruna. Ellen and Arena UK Winston have various other top class results on the European circuit, including winning the CSI2* Grand Prix at Opglabeek and placing third in the CSI3* Grand Prix in Vilamoura.
In 2014 and 2016 Ellen took a short break from competing to have her first son Harry Marinas-Whitaker, her second son Frankie Thomas Marinas-Whitaker was then born in 2016.
Following the birth of her two sons, Ellen has had a very successful 2018, back in the saddle. Ellen successfully jumped clear on Arena UK Winston in his first 5* Nations Cup was a great result after producing him from a four year old. Ellen also won the 2* Grand Prix in the Global Champions Tour in Rome on Casaktie.
Ellen experienced many consistent results in 2018, including; 3rd in the 1.45 4* at Bolesworth International, 4th in the 1.45 3* in Lisbon and 2nd in the 3* 1.45 at Mannheim.
Ellen’s plans for 2019 are to start the year with the Sunshine Tour with the aim to jump on the Nations Cup Teams.