Michael Whitaker is sidelined after a fall from a young horse at home

Rio-bound Michael Whitaker is temporarily sidelined with cracked ribs after a fall from a young horse at home.

The accident happened the day before Michael travelled down to Hickstead, where he was originally down to ride for Britain in the Nations Cup on Friday.

“The horse spooked, slipped and crashed into post and rail fencing, it is no-one’s fault, that’s just the way it goes,” said Michael, who travelled down to Hickstead before going to hospital.

“I spent five hours in A and E!”

Michael has cuts and scratches to his face, but his ribs are now strapped up, and he plans to sit out for only a couple of days.

“The first three days are always the worst, I’m hoping to ride on Saturday,” he said.

Michael did have some company in A and E to while away the hours. Nicole Pavitt was in a fall in one of the back rings at Hickstead with the five-year-old stallion Newtonhill Monaco.

“The combination was two strides and two strides, he did two and one,” she explained, sporting a very swollen and bruised ankle.

“The doctors did say there were a few fragments floating, but were more concerned with the damage to my Achilles tendon, but that is an old injury, so they said, OK, it’s not doing any harm, you’re good to go!”

It hasn’t stopped Nicole from competing, nevertheless, and she finished second in the Bunn Leisure Trophy with Victor Blue on Thursday, the first day of International competition.

“I put lots of ice on my ankle, and when it was numb, I put my boots on. They are elasticated on the top and by the zip at the back, and actually, they give me support – I walk better in my boots,” she said.

Nicole has now cancelled her entries in all the national classes and plans only to jump in the International classes and the Foxhunter second round on Friday.

“I only have one International ride on Friday, so I’ll jump two in the Foxhunter second round,” she said.

Photos © Jumping Around