Jack Whitaker is facing a spell on the sidelines as he recovers from an injured spleen sustained in a “freak accident”.
The 20-year-old was kicked by a horse at the Northcote International on Friday morning (6 May) where he had been due to compete over the weekend with five horses.
Jack told H&H he was walking down a stable aisle when a horse being led by a groom kicked out and struck him on the back.
“No bones were broken but it lacerated my spleen and I had internal bleeding, which was a worry for a few days. It was quite a big laceration, but it didn’t pop or that would have been very serious. I’ve been lucky but unlucky,” he said.
“I only got out of the hospital on Tuesday. I was bored out of my brains so I watched a lot of Netflix!”.
Jack, who was fourth in the World Cup final in Leipzig last month and recently returned from the Miami leg of the Global Champions Tour, had been due to compete in the CSI5* at Royal Windsor Horse Show this week.
“Obviously the doctors stopped the bleeding, but they need to make sure it stays like that and if I do anything too exuberant, the spleen could properly rupture. If that happens I’d have to get rushed to hospital very fast and have the spleen taken out.
“It’s gutting missing Royal Windsor and it’s going to be really hard being out of action, but I want to heal and recover as fast as possible. I’m going to take it easy for two weeks then I’ll have another scan.”
Jack hopes to be back in time for the St Gallen Nations Cup (3-6 June), where he has been selected to represent Great Britain alongside his uncle John Whitaker, Harry Charles, James Wilson and Joe Stockdale.
And while he cannot ride at the moment, he has someone keeping his horses ticking over while he recovers.
“We have a work rider at home – he’s called Michael Whitaker, so I think we’re alright,” laughed Jack.
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