Ellen is the daughter of Carol and Stephen Whitaker, and the niece of international riders John and Michael. As a member of the famous Whitaker “show jumping” family, she was destined to follow in the family footsteps.
Born on 5 March 1986, she showed early signs of the Whitaker talent and ambition. Ellen grew up on the family farm near Barnsley in South Yorkshire where she began to ride as a toddler. She competed in her first affiliated show at just five years old, and qualified for the Horse Of The Year Show by the time she was eight.
She was one of the youngest riders to represent Great Britain when she competed at the European Championships in Germany in 2007, defying her critics to jump triple clear and secure gold for Britain. This win ensured a British presence at the 2008 Bejing Olympics, although Ellen missed out on a place in the team due to her top ride at the time, Holstein stallion Locarno 62, going lame.