Top British show jumper John Whitaker will be sidelined for weeks after breaking his ankle in a fall at the weekend.

John was taken to hospital after falling from Peppermill at the Assen CSI*** in The Netherlands on Saturday. The pair were competing in a 1.45m two-phase, but Peppermill jumped John off over a fence in the first phase.

He has a badly broken and dislocated ankle which required an operation.

Released from hospital, John was back at the show on Sunday and making arrangements to travel home.

The three-day meeting at Aintree the previous week had marked the return to competition for Peppermill. Becky Stone’s 12-year-old stallion had a five-month break due to injury — and Assen marked his comeback to the international stage.

Despite the fall, John reported Peppermill was unscathed.

Peppermill’s fine” he said, “He’s fit but I’m lame.”

John Whitaker and Becky hoped to take him to next month’s Global Champions Tour in Doha.