Michael Whitaker is eyeing success in World Equestrian Games
Last Updated: 11/08/14 10:00pm
Michael Whitaker is aiming to make it three titles in a row after being picked for Great Britain's World Equestrian Games showjumping squad - despite appearing to have ruled himself out of the final selection process.
The multiple major championship medallist made himself unavailable for key Nations Cup competitions at Hickstead and in Dublin earlier this month.
Nottinghamshire-based Whitaker had a disagreement with Great Britain boss Rob Hoekstra after Hoekstra opted not to send a team to last month's prestigious Aachen Show in Germany.
Hoekstra subsequently revealed that Whitaker did not want to be considered for Hickstead or Dublin, which were the last two major team events before the world championship line-up was finalised.
I'm very happy to be selected. We are obviously heading out there to try to win something. We've taken home titles from the last two championships (Olympic and European), so to make it three in a row would be fantastic.
But Whitaker has now been named in a five-man British squad alongside world No 1 Scott Brash, world No 3 Ben Maher, Belgium-based Joe Clee and 21-year-old Lincolnshire rider Spencer Roe.
And the 54-year-old, who will ride either Amai or Viking at the world championships in France next month, is looking for another triumph.
He said: "I'm very happy to be selected. We are obviously heading out there to try to win something. We've taken home titles from the last two championships (Olympic and European), so to make it three in a row would be fantastic.
"The two horses I am entered with are in good form and will go to the Global Champions Tour in London this week as part of our preparation."
Whitaker, Brash (Hello Sanctos) and Maher (Cella) were all part of Britain's European title-winning team in Denmark last summer.
Roe (Wonder Why) and Clee (Utamaro d'Ecaussines), though, both make their major championship debuts after being rewarded for outstanding Nations Cup form this season.
Hoekstra will finalise a starting team of four for Normandy, with one travelling reserve, at a later date.
Showjumping dominates the second week of the World Games, which get under way in Caen on September 1.