Michael Whitaker and Viking are out of the European Championships after the horse was “not quite right” before he was due to jump in today’s opening competition.

“He pulled a shoe off at home before we came here and we didn’t think much of it,” Michael told H&H.

Viking was held at the first vet’s inspection on Monday but passed when represented on Tuesday morning.

“He was slightly sore when we arrived but he was trotting good yesterday and he was fine in the warm-up yesterday, he was jumping well,” said Michael.

“But when I was warming up today he didn’t quite feel right and when I popped him over a jump, he didn’t seem to land right. Then he did it again and I knew he wasn’t right. I think it’s a bit like twisting your ankle — he must have just twisted it slightly when the shoe came off and it wasn’t until we put pressure on him today that he started feeling it again.”

Michael was due to compete as an individual for Great Britain, along with his nephew William, who jumped a fantastic clear this morning on Utamaro D’Ecaussines.

“I know Viking so well and he’s not a soft horse so I knew he wasn’t right to jump him today so we had to withdraw — obviously I’m gutted,” said Michael. “Something like this has never happened to me before at a championship and given another couple of days he’d probably be able to jump and be fine.



“It’s so disappointing, but William [Whitaker] jumped a great round this morning so I’ll stay for a couple of days to see how he gets on,” he added.

You can read the full report from the European Championships in Gothenburg in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound (out Thursday 31 August)