Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Olympic showjumper remains in intensive care after he falls during horse trials

Jonty Evans and his horse Cooley Rorkes Drift. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Jonty Evans and his horse Cooley Rorkes Drift. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Louise Parkes

Irish Olympic rider Jonty Evans remains in the neuro intensive care unit of Beaumont Hospital following a heavy fall on the final day of the Tattersalls International Horse Trials.

The 46-year-old was rushed to hospital after he fell from his Rio Olympic ride, Cooley Rorkes Drift, in Ratoath, Co Meath, on Sunday.

The British-based eventer was second going into the deciding cross-country phase of the George Mernagh Memorial CIC 3-Star competition, and was just five fences from home when the accident occurred at the second element of the final water complex.

The incident occurred when the horse hit the flagpole coming out of the narrow brush element and the pair jolted sideways on landing.

Evans, who was hanging sideways on the near side, hung on but fell off the horse just as they reached the top of the ascent mound.

It's understood the event rider landed on the right side of his head and shoulder and nearby medics raced to his aid.

The athlete was quickly attended to and assessed and within minutes, both a helicopter and an ambulance were called to the scene.

British star William Fox-Pitt, who suffered a severe head injury in a fall in 2015, also hit the deck at the same fence which proved challenging throughout the competition.

Treatment

Evans was first taken to Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown before being transferred to Beaumont for further treatment. It is understood that he remains in the neuro intensive care unit.

Evans's horse was uninjured following the fall, which happened at the second part of a water complex.

A statement from the event organisers said: "Irish eventing rider Jonty Evans, who fell at fence 19b, the second element of the water complex in the CIC3 competition at Tattersalls International Horse Trials, was transferred to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, for further evaluation. Cooley Rorkes Drift was uninjured in the fall.

"Following initial evaluation in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Jonty Evans is being transferred to Beaumont Hospital for further treatment."

The Team Ireland Equestrian Facebook page gave similar information yesterday evening, adding that Evans "remains in a stable condition".

A further update from Tattersalls yesterday said: "Following further evaluation at Beaumont Hospital, Jonty Evans is in the neuro intensive care unit and his condition is being monitored and treated."

He produced a brilliant performance to finish ninth in Rio but his horse was subsequently put on the market by its owners so Evans set up a successful crowd-funding campaign which pulled in £500,000 (€570,000) to keep the ride on the gelding.

Irish Independent

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