John Whitaker facing month out after Gothenburg fall

John Whitaker is facing a month on the sidelines after fracturing his collarbone in a fall at Gothenburg Horse Show in Sweden last week (3 April).

“It’s not really that painful, it’s just annoying because I can’t do stuff and I can’t ride at the moment,” 63-year-old John told H&H.

“So I’m just trying to take it easy for a bit, but depending how quick it heals, the doctor said it would be four weeks before I can ride again.”

John was riding the 17-year-old Argento in the opening 1.40m speed class of the show — which also hosted the Longines FEI World Cup Final, won by Steve Guerdat — when they took a crunching fall at an oxer.

“It was just one of those stupid things,” said John. “I wasn’t really trying to win the class, I was just going for a nice round and he anticipated the turn a little bit and caught the wing — because he’s so careful he didn’t put his legs down.

“I didn’t fall badly either, it was just the way I caught my shoulder. It was the first class of the show, so I finished before I started! It’s a really good show and I haven’t been for a few years, so I had really been looking forward to it.”

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“Archie” was uninjured in the fall and, according to John, the Arko III stallion and all his other top horses will be kept busy during this enforced absence.

“We might stand Argento for a few weeks with the fresh semen,” he said. “Depending how long I’m going to be out of action for, he’ll stay in work — hopefully it’s not going to be long anyway!”

Don’t miss the full report from the Longines FEI World Cup final in this week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 11 April.

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