Equestrianism: Injury blows for Whitaker

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The Independent Online
JOHN WHITAKER has been forced to pull out of this week's European Show Jumping Championships at Hickstead. Both his top horses, the 19-year old Virtual Village Welham with a pulled muscle above his knee, and the 10-year old mare, Flower, with an abscess on her foot, are injured.

Geoff Billington now joins the remaining four members of the British squad: Nick Skelton, Michael Whitaker, Di Lampard and Robert Smith. The final four will be chosen on Wednesday, the day before the opening speed leg of the championships.

The departure of the elder Whitaker brother greatly reduces Britain's chances of recapturing the European title, last won 10 years ago.