Michael Whitaker may miss the World Cup final as Handel has been diagnosed with a tendon injury

When Michael Whitaker came out of the ring after competing in last weekend’s World Cup qualifier in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland, he realised that something was amiss with Anne Bedford’s stallion, Handel, who had collected a rare 16 faults.

New international team vet, Michel Heyvaert, immediately scanned the horse’s off foreleg and diagnosed a high flexor tendon injury.

Handel has now returned to England and the immediate treatment is two weeks’ rest, after which he will be scanned again.

If the scan is clear, he may be able to make the World Cup final at Leipzig in May, but, without Handel, Michael will probably not travel.

“It would be a bit much for First Samuel and Landfurst isn’t ready for that sort of test yet,” said Michael, who was third with Handel in last year’s final.

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