Equestrianism: Whitaker pulls out after hotel disturbance

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The Independent Online

Great Britain showjumping performance manager Rob Hoekstra will meet with top rider Michael Whitaker before deciding on any possible disciplinary action against the five-time Olympian.

Whitaker withdrew from the headline event of British showjumping's season yesterday - the Longines King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead, which carries a £56,500 first prize. It followed a late-night hotel disturbance involving the 51-year-old, a statement from the organisers said.

Whitaker was Great Britain's star performer during the Hickstead FEI Nations Cup leg on Friday. Britain finished fourth, mainly due to Whitaker's second round clear and four faults in round one.

However, later that night, it is understood police were called to a hotel around 20 minutes north of Hickstead after a disturbance involving Whitaker and other hotel guests. They were not fellow riders. He has now returned home to Nottinghamshire, but was unavailable for comment yesterday.

"I've got to look at the code of conduct and I need to sit down quietly with Michael, not at this stage, and have a chat to him about it and look at all the details that have come out which I am not fully aware of," Hoekstra said. "If there is a breach of conduct, and there is a fine stipulated for that, then he may have to pay that."