Michael Whitaker’s ride given green light after failing first trot-up at European Championships

  • There was relief in the British camp this morning (Tuesday, 22 August), after Michael Whitaker’s ride Viking passed a re-inspection ahead of the European Showjumping Championships in Gothenburg.

    The 15-year-old gelding was not 100% trotting up during the initial vet inspection on the opening day (21 August).

    The vets at the championships therefore asked Michael to re-present the son of Jacomar — who is owned by Michael’s wife Melissa — the following morning.

    The re-inspection took place today at 8am and the team of vets was happy with how Viking trotted up, giving him the green light to compete. The gelding was the only horse asked to re-present after yesterday’s vet inspection.

    Michael is riding as an individual alongside his nephew William, whose championship ride Utamaro D’Ecaussines passed the initial trot-up.

    Aboard Viking, Michael was a member of the gold medal-winning British team at the 2015 European Championships in Herning.

    “They couldn’t find anything wrong with him today,” said Michael after the re-inspection. “Yesterday, he was 99% okay but they asked me to bring him back in the morning. I have no idea what was up with him, it’s the first vet inspection he hasn’t passed.”

    Continued below…

    More from the Europeans…

    No team for the Brits

    Great Britain is not fielding a team at the 2017 European Championships — a decision that was made taking into account both available equine talent and our longer-term performance objectives.

    “We would be kidding ourselves to say that we have been satisfied with our Nations Cup team performances this year,” British Showjumping (BS) performance manager Di Lampard said.

    “Like many sports, showjumping has changed massively in the past two years and we need to balance the individual objectives of riders alongside those of our national championship campaigns, especially in the first year of an Olympic cycle, which is always more of a transitional period.

    European Showjumping Championships timetable

    • Wednesday, 23 August — 8.45am: first round
    • Thursday, 24 August — 1.30pm & 8.45pm: first round team competition
    • Friday, 25 August — 8.30pm: second team round and medals
    • Sunday, 27 August — 2pm: individual and medals

    Don’t miss the full report from the dressage, para dressage and showjumping action from this week’s European Championships in Horse & Hound — including analysis, expert comments, pictures and more — on sale Thursday, 31 August.

    Plus, keep up to date with all the latest news from the championships via horseandhound.co.uk and the H&H Facebook page.

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