Way Back When: John Whitaker and Milton

John Whitaker and Milton were a pair for the ages. In Milton’s career, he was the first horse outside of racing to pass the million dollar mark in winnings, he helped secure two team show jumping gold medals at the European Championships, and individual gold in the EC’s in 1989. John and Milton claimed the individual silver medal and team bronze medals at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm.

Many project that the pair might have proved unbeatable in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, but the horse’s owners (the Bradley family) always put Milton first, and had concerns about sending the horse to Korea and back for a medal.

The British Sport Horse (by Dutch WB Marius, out of Irish Draft Ashton Answers) was absolutely beloved by his nation and truly any show jumping fan because of his distinctive personality, his bright white coat, and his absolute commitment to jumping anything you put in front of him.

According to an interview given to Horse and Hound, Britain’s Chef d’Equipe at the time said of the gelding: ““Milton gave me my greatest years in the sport and he and John [Whitaker] were the perfect ambassadors for British showjumping. Milton had something no other horse had.”

We’re taking a stroll down memory lane to watch Milton and John tackle the penultimate round of competition to qualify for the now-defunct format where the final four switch horses. They went on to finish second to Eric Navet and his legendary Quito de Baussy.

Go Milton, and Go Jumping.