British horse ruled out of World Equestrian Games squad

Michael Whitaker’s top horse Amai has been ruled out of next month’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (2-7 September) after picking up a small injury.

It was announced yesterday (Monday 11 August) that the 54-year-old rider had been selected to represent Great Britain with either Amai or Viking.

But Michael will now head to France at the start of September with just his European team gold medal-winning partner Viking.

“Amai’s not lame, but something wasn’t right,” Michael told H&H. “We had him scanned and it means I won’t be able to jump him for a while.”

Michael narrowly missed out on selection for the 2012 London Olympics after an unrelated injury kept Beatrice Merten’s 14-year-old gelding out of action in the run-up to the Games.

This is just the latest setback in the saga of injury-plagued British horses.

Nick Skelton’s Big Star was ruled out of action last month and several other leading riders’ top horses have been on the sidelines this season, meaning performance manager Rob Hoekstra has at times struggled for team horsepower.

“We’re extremely short of championship horses,” he told H&H.