Equestrianism: Whitaker out after injury to Landfurst

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Michael Whitaker's participation in the German Super League Show in Aachen yesterday came to an abrupt end after his 10-year-old horse, Landfurst, fell and broke a pastern.

Landfurst refused at the water in the Nordrhein Westfalen Preis, so Whitaker took him over a similar obstacle in the practice area. The horse cleared the water, but stumbled and fell on landing. The broken pastern bone was being examined at a local clinic yesterday and vets may recommend that Landfurst should be put down.

"Michael's not significantly injured, but he's very distressed about the horse so he's gone home," Derek Ricketts, the Great Britain team manager, said. Whitaker's departure means that the other four members of the British squad - Robert Smith, Richard Davenport, Scott Smith and Damian Charles - will automatically form the team for today's Super League Nations Cup.

Whitaker, due to ride Handel II today, had big hopes for Landfurst after he won a major class in Toronto last November.

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