John Whitaker suffered a fractured collarbone in a crashing fall during the first day of competition at the Gothenburg Horse Show in Sweden.
The only Brit competing in Gothenburg this week, John was due to take part in the supporting rankings classes that run alongside the Longines FEI World Cup final with Argento, but has withdrawn from all competition following the fall during Wednesday’s (3 April) 1.40m warm-up class.
John and the 17-year-old Arko III stallion began their round in super style, looking to be on top form before they caught the wing of an oxer and fell.
“He was jumping very well; I wasn’t trying to win, just to give him a nice round ready for the week,” John, 63, told H&H. “At the oxer he just anticipated the turn a little and jumped to the right quite badly. He caught the wing and came down on his knees and I went out the side.”
Argento was unhurt in the fall, and John also appeared unhurt as he got to his feet. But a medical examination by the on-site orthopaedic specialist confirmed that he had fractured his collarbone.
“I didn’t even think it was a bad fall for me, but I landed on my shoulder and broke the collarbone. I realised something wasn’t right when I got out of the ring,” said John, who is due to be inducted into the show’s Hall of Fame with a presentation on Saturday.
A groom has also been injured following a prize-giving yesterday (Thursday, 4 April). Denmark’s Sören Pedersen’s ride Tailormade Diarca PS bucked on the way out of the arena and kicked his female groom in the chest. She was attended to by paramedics and taken to hospital, where she is now in a stable condition.
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The showjumping World Cup final kicked off yesterday (4 April) with the first of three rounds, which was won by Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and Alamo. The world number one goes forward to this evening’s second round with the maximum points.
The final will conclude on Sunday, 7 April.
Keep up to date with all the action from the dressage and showjumping World Cup finals here at horseandhound.co.uk and see next week’s edition of H&H magazine (11 April) for full competition reports.