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Tuesday 23 October 2018

Olympic rider in intensive care following horse trial fall

Rider Jonty Evans was rushed to hospital after the fall from his Rio Olympic ride, Cooley Rorkes Drift
Rider Jonty Evans was rushed to hospital after the fall from his Rio Olympic ride, Cooley Rorkes Drift

An Irish Olympic rider is in a serious condition in hospital following a heavy fall from his horse during an equestrian event.

Jonty Evans (46) was rushed to hospital on Sunday after the fall from his Rio Olympic ride, Cooley Rorkes Drift, on the final day of the Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Ratoath, Co Meath.

He is understood to be in a neurointensive care unit in Beaumont Hospital.

The eventer was lying second going into the deciding cross-country phase of the George Mernagh Memorial CIC three-star competition, and was just five fences from home when the accident happened at the second element of the final water complex.

The incident occurred when the horse struck 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, fell off the horse just as they reached the top of the ascent mound.

It's understood he 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.

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.

Evans was first taken to Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown before being transferred to Beaumont for further treatment.

His horse was uninjured following the fall.

Treatment

A statement from the organisers of the event said: "Irish eventing rider Jonty Evans, who fell at fence 19b at Tattersalls International Horse Trials, was transferred to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, for further evaluation.

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

A further update yesterday said: "Following further evaluation, Jonty Evans is in the neurointensive care unit and his condition is being monitored and treated."

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