Michael Whitaker loses top horse

British show jumping’s chances of qualifying for the next Olympic games are looking increasingly unlikely following the sad news that Michael Whitaker’s ride Landfurst 6 has been put down.

Landfurst 6, a 10-year-old brown stallion, suffered a fractured pastern in a collecting ring fall yesterday (Thursday, 19 June) at Aachen, Germany, and was put down shortly afterwards.

Michael, who was in Aachan to compete as part of Great Britain’s Nations Cup team, was uninjured in the incident but is said to be devastated by the loss of one of his top horses.

Landfurst 6 jumped in a morning class but was retired after stopping at the water. The accident happened when Michael left the arena and entered the collecting ring to school over the practice water fence.

Landfurst 6 was immediately X-rayed on site, where vets suspected a fracture to the long pastern bone (P1). The stallion was transferred to a clinic in Aachen where the decision was made to put the horse to sleep after further investigation revealed that the fracture was irreparable.

British Team Manager Derek Ricketts said: “This was a very trgic accident, Landfurst 6 was approaching the prime time in his international career and we had yet to see the best of him. This unfortunate happening only compounds our other recent British losses.”

Michael Whitaker immediately flew home from Aachen. Tomorrow’s Nations Cup team will nowbe made up of Scott Smith, Robert Smith, Richard Davenport and Damien Charles.

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