John Whitaker in Hospital after Fall in Global Champions Tour

Written by Monday, 07 August 2017 12:10
John Whitaker and Cassinis Chaplin John Whitaker and Cassinis Chaplin

British Olympic showjumper John Whitaker has been injured after falling from his horse at the Global Champions Tour event in London.

Competing on his 62nd Birthday, John started off well on the nine-year old Cassinis Chaplin. But, the stallion put in a sudden refusal, unseating him over the fence. Spectators were relieved as it was announced John was speaking with the medics and was taken to hospital for medical checks.  

His son, Robert, later said the showjumper was "sore and stiff" but "should be OK".

Scott Brash and Hello Forever.  photo Steffano Grasso/LGCT

However, Scott Brash and his London 2012 teammate Ben Maher took the top spots almost five years to the day since they won Olympic gold in the team jumping.

 

The crowd went wild as the penultimate rider Scott Brash cantered into the ring on Hello Forever. There was an audible gasp as he successfully completed a handbrake turn into fence five, but Hello Forever galloped around the remainder of the course to go into first on a heart-pounding time of 38.62s.

Ben Maher and MTF Madame X pictured together on Friday's CSI5* (1.45m)

British flags were already flying in the packed grandstands as as Ben Maher entered the ring to a huge cheer. He went for it and there was a hair’s breadth between him and Brash as he galloped to the last on MTF Madame X. Horse and rider cleared the fence to a roar from the crowd in a time of 38.86s – a mere 0.4s slower than Brash but good enough for a British 1-2.

 
Scott Brash said,
"I’m very happy with the day. Obviously, our thoughts are all with John, but it sounds like its good news for him going forward. I think it was even more important then, to try and get a British win and it’s great to get a one and two in the home leg. [Hello Forever is] an incredible horse, you have to be on your toes when riding him, but he’s an incredible horse. He jumps when you get there, he’s fast and he’s athletic. He’s got everything and yeah he gave his all today. I must say Ben did have me sweating there at the end! I saw a few horses went 8 strides one to two, but I didn’t feel it suited my horse. So, I was already going to go 9 one to two, and knew I was going to be a bit behind. So, I thought I needed a good turn, and kept it as fast as I could all the way home. I managed to see a good forward distance, and luckily Forever pricked his ears and really went for it."

 

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