Ellen Whitaker

Rider Profile

Ellen Whitaker
South Yorkshire

Ellen comes from a big family of showjumpers and started riding when she was very young. Showjumping and horses have been her passion for as long as she can remember. Ellen did her first affiliated pony show aged five  – it didn’t go very well! – but that’s when the big stuff began.

Ellen was, and still is, very inspired by her family, who have been very successful in the sport. It was a dream come true for Ellen to eventually join them at the top of the sport, competing alongside them in competitionsincluding championships, Nations Cups and Grand Prix. A very special moment for Ellen was coming second (obviously first would have been nicer) in the famous Hickstead Derby to her uncle John Whitaker when she was 18 with her 'hero' of a horse, Locarno 62. He was eight at the time. Ellen grew up watching herheroes battle that class, and it also meant a lot to her grandparents, which made it very special. 

Ellen competed at the Pony European Championships in Vejer de la Frontera when she was 14, where she met her first owner (Mr Julian Donn) who went on to support Ellen hugely, including buying Locarno 62 at the Psi auction as a five-year-old when Ellen was 15. Ellen considers herself hugely lucky to have had this opportunity because it opened up so many doors for her at a very young age. One of these was being selected for the senior European Championships in San Patrigano, Italy, when she was 19 and Locarno 62 was nine.

Dawn and Amy Makin came on board when Ellen was 20, and shortly after she was selected for the her second senior European Championships in Mannheim, Germany, alongside her uncles John and Michael. Together with David McPhearson and a triple clear from Locarno 62, the team managed to win the bronze medal and qualify for the Beijing Olympics. This was another one of Ellen's all-time favourite moments in showjumping so far and a feeling she will never forget!

Ellen is a big tennis fan, and used to play a lot as a child and teenager. She's a big fan of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, three completely different players with inspiring stories behind their success. Roger Federer’s classic style and elegance as a player is beautiful to watch. Ellen loves sport – any sport – and has huge respect for sportspeople and the stories and hard work behind them. 

Ellen became celiac after she had her children. This is an auto immune condition that means she's extremely allergic to gluten. She's also lactose and dairy intolerant, so cooks quite a lot and has developed an interest in food and nutrition. 

To relax, Ellen loves nothing more than being with her children. It’s a busy life being a sportsperson and a mum, but she enjoys every moment.

Sporting Achievements

Date Event Horse Medals
2007 European Championships Locarno 62 Team bronze