British showjumper John Whitaker says he is feeling “OK — still a bit sore” after his fall at the Longines Global Champions Tour of London on Saturday (5 August).

John hit the deck when the nine-year-old Cassinis Chaplin stopped at a midway vertical in the first round of the grand prix. He told H&H it was a “worrying” time as the paramedics attended to him in the ring.

“When you hit the ground, your first instinct is always to get up and get straight back on the horse but I couldn’t feel my feet,” said John. “That was the most worrying time, and that’s why the paramedics put the screens up round me.

“But it wasn’t too long before the feeling came back to my feet and as soon as it did I knew I was all right. I could move my arms OK and I didn’t lose consciousness — I was just a bit dazed.”

John, who was celebrating his 62nd birthday that day, says he appreciated having his brother Michael and friends Nick Skelton and Mark Armstrong by his side before he was stretchered into a waiting ambulance. He underwent an MRI scan at hospital to check his spine.

“The scans came back all clear, thankfully,” said John. “My neck and back are still stiff — as I said to Geoff Billington, I’m stiff but in all the wrong places!”

This was John’s second recent fall from Cassinis Chaplin, coming two weeks after the pair parted company at the treble combination at the GCT of Chantilly.

John says he is planning to get back in the saddle tomorrow, five days after the fall.



“I haven’t been back on a horse yet,” he told H&H today (9 August). “I’m going to have a week off from shows this week, but will see how I get on next week and take it from there.”

They make them tough in Yorkshire — we wish you a very speedy recovery John!

Don’t miss the full report from the Longines Global Champions Tour of London in this week’s Horse & Hound (out Thursday, 10 August).